Waste incinerators could form part of future local district heating or cooling networks, under proposals launched by the European Commission.
A proposed Energy Efficiency Directive would require member states to adopt “national heating and cooling plans” which would ensure that spatial planning regulations are in line with the development of district heating and cooling.
The proposed directive would also require member states to adopt “authorisation criteria” which would ensure that energy generating installations are located in sites near to heat demand points.
The document states: “Urban spatial plans shall be designed to ensure that thermal electricity generating installations, industrial plants producing waste heat, waste incineration plants and other waste-to-energy plants are connected to the local district heating or cooling network.”
The proposals have been welcomed by the Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants.
The organisation’s managing director Ella Stengler said: “It is of utmost importance that local planning develops district heating and cooling infrastructure to accommodate the development of high-efficiency co-generation, of waste to energy and other renewable energy sources.”