Energy minister Charles Hendry vocal on support for EfW

Energy minister Charles Hendry voiced his support for a greater uptake of energy-from-waste (EfW) technologies in a keynote speech at the RWM/CIWM exhibition, which opened its doors today (September 13) at Birmingham NEC.

While maintaining that the Government was technology-neutral, he said the industry needed “better access to residual waste” in order to drive development and confirmed that ministers were examining ways through the Waste Review to make this happen through finance, planning and community buy-in.

On the financial front, he said the Government was considering extending the reach of the renewable heat incentive to include mixed waste and larger biomass plants from 2012. But he acknowledged that some technologies such as advanced thermal treatment would “still struggle to secure finance” going forward, and that regulatory issues could also pose problems.

“We recognise there are many challenges facing the energy-from-waste sector. DECC is working to see how best its innovation programme can support the uptake of advanced conversion of waste technologies,” he said.

The minister also touched on planning, saying a “transparent, robust and evidence-based approach” needed to be taken in relation to proposed EfW builds. He also felt that the Localism Bill would not hinder the development of necessary infrastructure.

“[Localism] will drive us towards smaller, more sustainable waste facilities – it will focus people’s attention on what is the right way to deal with our waste. We want to see local communities and individuals take a stake in this process.”

Maxine Perella

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