Electricity generation from energy-from-waste (EfW) technology could almost treble from its current contribution of 150MW by 2030, a Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) study has stated.
DECC’s Review of the generation costs and deployment potential of renewable electricity technologies in the UK, conducted by Arup, considered cost inputs, barriers to deployment and investor behaviour to explore the resource potential for renewables such as anaerobic digestion (AD) and EfW in future years.
According to the report’s estimates, the cumulative installed capacity for the UK’s EfW plants could rise from around 150MW in 2010 to 414MW in the report’s ‘high build rate’ scenario. This assumes that all EfW plants under construction will be completed and commissioned within two years, and that 90% of other plants with planning permission will be constructed and commissioned within the next six years.
Although waste planning applications display a ‘high’ success rate, the report concedes that “obtaining planning permission for EfW plants is a challenge for local authorities and project developers”.
The installed generation capacity of AD by 2030 is calculated to be 708MW electrical, but this capacity could be reached a decade earlier, according to DECC’s high build rate scenario projections.
UKWIN network co-ordinator Shlomo Dowen told MRW: “The report talks about having identified a certain number of incinerators but they don’t list them, so it’s hard to know what they do or don’t count although it’s a larger number than ordinary municipal waste incinerators.
“It’s hard to know how much credibility to give conclusions from a study where there appear to be contradictions and it appears to be impossible to verify what’s said.”
The report’s predictions will now “inform” the support for subsidies under the renewables obligation and/or feed-in tariffs.