UK resource management company, Veolia, announced that over a period of fourteen hours on 22nd July, the company’s Energy Recovery Facilities (ERFs) delivered nearly 25% more energy than wind power, and at one point Veolia delivered 111MWe, against the total wind generation of 58MWe.
The combined generating capacity of 180MWe already ‘takes pressure off’ the stretched UK grid as a reliable and secure source of low carbon energy, it says.
As the first operator in the UK to achieve the high efficiency, R1, standard for all of its ERFs, Veolia’s ten plants take around 2.3 million tonnes of non-recyclable waste and transform this into electricity for over 400,000 homes.
Each year these facilities add to energy security by generating around 1.4TWh of electricity through the treatment of non-recyclable waste and, according to Veolia, have shown their key role in safely tackling COVID related wastes by treating the 15% increase in orange bagged clinical and infectious materials.
As more baseload generators such as nuclear, coal and CCGTs retire, ERFs’ are set to play an increasingly important role in keeping the lights on during winter evenings and during days where wind generation is low.
Some of these facilities are also contributing to the need for heat decarbonisation by producing heating for communities through district heating networks, using combined heat and power technology, Veolia says.
As an estimated 20% of the nation’s carbon emissions are generated by domestic heating, due to a low standard of energy efficiency, using this type of non – fossil fuel heating lowers carbon emissions and can help reduce cost, and fuel poverty, in vulnerable groups, Veolia says.
Donald Macphail, Chief Operating Officer – Treatment at Veolia said: “Access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy is key to supporting communities and businesses, and is linked to fuel poverty and carbon emissions. To virtually eliminate wastes and produce secure energy in its place is a win-win situation, generating green electricity and heat, reducing landfill, and achieving greater sustainability.
“As more baseload generators such as nuclear, coal and CCGTs retire, ERFs’ are set to play an increasingly important role in keeping the lights on during winter evenings and during days where wind generation is low. Future development will increase this importance and we are already advancing trials of the latest carbon capture technology, and taking another step towards a zero carbon future.”