Waste to Energy


Energy from waste is about taking waste and turning it into a useable form of energy. This can include electricity, heat and transport fuels (e.g. diesel). This can be done in a range of ways. Incineration is the most well-known. As a partially renewable energy source it can also contribute to our renewable energy targets which are aimed at decarbonising energy generation.


The global waste to energy market is expected to reach USD 37.64 billion by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. Strong shift in trend towards energy security around the world coupled with decreasing landfill area is expected to remain a key driving factor for the global WTE market. Government support in the form of tax benefits and government subsidies are also expected to have positive influence on the market growth over the next six years.
Europe was the largest regional market and accounted for 47.6% of total market revenue in 2013. Increasing industrial waste coupled with EU Waste Legislation have been major factors driving the regional market. The regional market is characterized by increasing WTE technology adoption by countries such as Germany, Austria and Netherlands.


Threat from other established renewable energy sources particularly solar, wind and hydro is expected to remain a key challenge for market participants. In addition, high upfront cost associated with establishment of waste to energy plants is also expected to hamper the market growth.


The Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme provides subsidies of around £1 billion a year for renewable electricity. In terms of energy from waste, the system is complex and varies depending on the technology: for example, the majority of mixed waste incineration is not eligible for the ROC scheme.