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EfW sector aims for 'subsidy free' in five years


An energy-from-waste (EfW) sector operating without Government subsidies is possible within five years, an industry event has heard.

Current uncertainty in the sector following the withdrawal of Air Products from the sector was a theme for many speakers at the World Waste To Energy summit in London.

Waste2Tricity chairman Peter Jones said the failure of the Teesside project meant everybody was wondering “what next for gasification?”.

A lack of confidence from private funders has been the reported consequence, with the sector continuing to rely on Government subsidy to be commercially viable.

Advisory firm West Wind Ventures’ director Ian Price attributed a hiatus in the industry to a lack of information from the Government on future rounds of Contracts for Difference.

But he said that, despite a great deal of uncertainty, the technology would be subsidy-free “hopefully in four to five years”.

“A lot of that is to do with the track record of the technology operating as it should: efficiently; making the kind of returns that investors are expecting; developing the supply chain to drive down cost; and greater appreciation for the risk premiums that contractors are taking.

“Advanced conversion will become more established as plants come online, so people will see the benefits. Over time we will see those plants being developed completely subsidy-free.”

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