EWB launches European Waste-to-Energy Facilities Market Report

Europe will have around17 Mt/yr of extra thermal treatment capacity in 2019, according to EWB’s new analysis

ENDS Waste&Bionergy is proud to announce the launch of their report into the European Waste-to-Energy Facilities Market 2015-2019.

Our analysis predicts that European energy-from-waste plants’ capacity, which stood at 98.8 million tonnes per year at the end of last year, will rise to around 116 Mt/yr in 2019. Electric generation capacity will rise to some 10.5 GW, an increase of 18%.

Investment to reach these levels, alongside upgrades, refurbishment and maintenance of the existing fleet, will average around €5 bn/yr to the end of the decade. Activity will be far from evenly distributed. Instead, EWB has found that the countries of Europe may be divided into three segments: the pioneers, the late-comers and the non-starters. The pioneering countries, such as Denmark, France and Germany, committed early to developing an EfW industry and are close to or have already met EU waste management targets. For these, there is little scope for plant development beyond maintenance, upgrades and replacing existing capacity.

Billions of euros are now being invested in the late-comers, led by the UK and Poland. This group is in the process of shifting from reliance on landfill towards energy recovery. We project that the number of operating plants in the UK and Ireland alone will rise by 135% over 2014-2019. Their capacity will increase by 12.6 Mt – the lion’s share across Europe as a whole. The UK will also become home to almost all of Europe’s plants using advanced conversion technologies: gasification, pyrolysis and plasma gasification.

Poland is also seeing substantial investment as current projects begin to come online. A few countries remain in the non-starters group, such as Greece and Portugal. For these, there is little or no current capacity and at best limited investment in the pipeline. Our forecasts are based on projects monitored in the ENDS Waste&Bioenergy database that are planned to become operational by 2019. The report includes a summary of the information we have on each live project. We have also accounted for the probability of project failure and scheduled decommissioning. Projects that we believe to be abandoned or dormant have been excluded from our analysis.

The report considers the co-incineration of waste alongside other fuels such as coal and virgin biomass in a separate section dedicated to multifuel plants. Although few of these are currently in operation, the market for them is expected to grow dramatically to the end of the decade. We estimate that they will consume about 1.3 Mt of waste in 2019, 1 Mt more than at the end of 2014. They will also generate more than double the amount of electricity, rising to about 730 MW. About a third of their fuel, by weight, will be waste.

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ENDS waste&bioenergy_no strapline-4This article is a result of a partnership between ENDS Waste&Bionergy and EBA.