English exports of refuse derived fuels (RDFs) are on the rise again. After reaching a peak in 2016, export volumes had been falling – gradually at first, but then more rapidly beginning in 2019. However, the latest figures from the Environment Agency now show an increase in the amount of RDF shipped to Continental Europe in 2023.
Exports to Sweden in particular increased significantly and even reached an all-time high. However, Germany also imported almost 60 per cent more RDF from the UK than in the previous calendar year. The EEW group, which operates waste to energy (wte) plants in Germany and the Netherlands, remains by far the largest offtaker of British alternative fuels at company level.
All together, the Environment Agency (EA) reported exports of 1.58 million tonnes of RDF and SRF (solid recovered fuel) from England last year. This was 142,000 tonnes more than in 2022, but the country is still below the peaks witnessed 2016 to 2018, when English RDF exports exceeded three million tonnes. The decline in recent years is likely first and foremost due the expansion of new waste incineration capacity in the UK. Increased costs due to Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic may also have contributed to the trend.
Read the full report on the shift in English export RDF flows in 2023, including a ranking of the largest exporters and offtakers. . ....