According to a study from German consultancy firm ecoprog, some 2,150 waste incineration plants are operational across the world and global capacity is set to increase by 60 million tonnes annually by 2015.

One the key growth drivers is an increasing shortage of landfill. The report estimates that some 5.6 billion euros were invested in the construction, expansion, modernisation and maintenance of incinerators and refuse-derived fuel plants annually.

By 2015, it predicts this will increase to 7.8 billion euros and that plant capacities throughout the world will grow from 210 million to 270 million tonnes annually.

China is at the forefront of this infrastructure boom – last year around half of all incinerators coming on-stream were constructed there.

The Waste to Energy 2011/2012 study also found signs that the European waste incineration market is starting to expand again after dramatic overcapacities had occurred in some countries due to the economic crisis.

Maxine Perella

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie