English exports of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) peaked in 2016. For the first time since the Environment Agency began permitting the export of RDF or solid recovered fuel (SRF) in 2010, the amount of pre-treated residual waste shipped abroad for use as fuel has decreased. In 2017, the figure slipped to 3.20 million tonnes, from 3.22 million tonnes in the prior year. The Environment Agency figures also revealed a decrease in exports to Germany, which is consistent with the results of EUWID's market survey of German waste to energy plant operators.
Germany was not alone in receiving less RDF from England last year. Exports of waste for energy recovery to the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark also fell. However, the decreases there were nearly entirely offset by increases in shipments to Sweden and Norway as well as exports to new waste to energy markets such as Poland and Bulgaria.