Ecoprog: Waste to energy capacity
continues to grow in Europe

Waste to energy is booming in Europe thanks to the EU
circular economy package, says consulting firm Ecoprog.
10.01.2020 − 

Waste to energy is still a growth market in Europe. The number of facilities commissioned is set to rise in the years ahead, the consulting firm Ecoprog announced at the publication of the latest edition of its waste to energy study. Ecoprog anticipates that around 50 additional plants with capacity to treat roughly 18 million tonnes a year will get up and running over the next five years.

The consulting firm singles out EU waste policy as the main driver. This legislation was unleashing a renewed boom in the very country that will leave the EU this year: the UK had raised its landfill tax substantially as part of its efforts to implement the EU Landfill Directive. Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) exports had jumped to 3.4 million tonnes in 2018 as a result, according to Ecoprog.

Incineration taxes hindering UK exports

This year, new taxes in the Netherlands and Sweden – which are key destinations for RDF from the UK - will make it much harder to export waste, according to Ecoprog. The pressure to create new energy recovery capacity within national borders will grow as a result. In Poland, too, higher landfill taxes were already putting more pressure on the management of waste. Other countries like France and Spain had already approved higher landfill taxes or were in the process of discussing such endeavours, the consulting firm said.

According to Ecoprog, the EU circular economy package will be the main factor behind additional demand for incineration capacity. Landfilling of municipal solid waste is to be limited to a maximum of 10 per cent by 2035 – and that based on new statistical calculation methods in keeping with the output criterion.

The full report on Ecoprog's latest wte study will appear in EUWID Recycling and Waste Management 2/2020 out on 22 January.

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