However in order to exploit this opportunity, a further 80 EfW facilities need to be built by 2020, on top of the 30 already operating in the UK.

The report from SITA out today (April 23) claims that the waste management sector could be a real driving force for the generation of renewable energy if given the opportunity.

It claims that EfW could feasibly meet 15% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources commitment and a third of the country’s residential gas demand (up to 12% of total UK demand).

This would effectively triple waste-derived renewable electricity from thermal combustion alone to 3.6 terawatt hours, powering one million homes.

The research also claimed that the £25bn of investment needed to secure new infrastructure could result in 84,000 new jobs being created in the waste sector over the next decade.

According to SITA UK’s CEO David Palmer-Jones, the UK has a “unique opportunity” to revitalise its economy by changing the way it manages waste.

“The sector’s performance and on-going innovation makes a strong case for businesses to unlock vital funding and play a central role in bridging the green gap so the UK can meet its carbon budget targets to 2020, but also realise the potential of a circular economy,” he said.

Investing in new waste treatment facilities will not only create employment and economic growth but consolidate a more secure energy supply, he added.

Maxine Perella

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