The webinar, held in association with Covanta Energy, polled over 130 listeners during a live recording and asked them what factors were critical in getting new waste facilities off the ground.

More than 40% of respondents indicated that investor confidence was the biggest hurdle while almost 25% felt that a delay in key policy tied to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) would be detrimental.

Covanta Energy’s director of public affairs David Massingham, who lead the webinar debate, said that if industry was to maximise the full potential of EfW, it would need to exploit resources beyond the municipal sector and look at securing feedstock from residual commercial and industrial waste.

He said: “Results from polls during the webinar reveal that investor confidence is seen as by far the most significant barrier to delivering necessary improvements in waste infrastructure.

“However, many participants, from a broad variety of industry sectors, agreed that the government’s forthcoming EfW guidance should provide a clear indication on the preferred circumstances for new EfW infrastructure.

“It was also encouraging that a significant proportion also felt that the guidance should stress that EfW is a complementary, rather than a conflicting, recovery option to help dispel the myth that it ‘crowds out’ recycling.”

The webinar considered waste arisings and treatment capacity in the light of both waste and energy legislation and the economic and planning climate, and what impact this could have on the deliverability of waste infrastructure.

Covanta has earmarked the UK and Ireland for substantial investment into the EfW market as it looks to potentially deliver more than 2m tonnes of treatment capacity over the next few years.

Maxine Perella

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