Households in the Isle of Wight could become the first in the UK to convert their non-recyclable waste into useful energy with low environmental emissions.
A revolutionary technology developed by the Ener-G Group in Norway for commercial and domestic waste has been proven to be economically viable at six sites and could greatly reduce the amount of biodegradable waste (BDW) sent to landfill.
ENER-G managing director Nick Dawber said: “Sensible recycling must form the backbone of the UK’s waste strategy, but there will always be a proportion of waste that can’t be recovered.”
If these prove successful, DEFRA will purchase £2.5 million of services in a demonstration period investigating the performance of the technology for diverting BDW from landfill.
The relatively small plants are ideally suited for construction alongside existing recycling facilities, and with the capability of processing up to 80,000 tonnes a year, yielding as much as 210 GWh of thermal energy; it can more than manage the needs of the Isle of Wight.
Using a two-stage thermal treatment process, heat energy is recovered to produce steam that can supply industry, generate electrical power, heating or hot water for nearby consumers.
On the Isle of Wight, some 2.3MWe of electricity will be generated, the bulk of which will be used to power 2,000 homes, with extremely low emissions that significantly outperform the requirements of relevant EU Emission Standards.
The technology will also dramatically cut road haulage costs, traffic congestion and associated exhaust emissions. ENER-G is hoping to implement the technology throughout the UK, making a significant contribution to the Government’s targets of reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill sites.