Planning permission for waste plants makes haste
Planning consent for waste plants is outpacing applications according to new research, which appears to contradict industry perceptions.
According to Eunomia's latest Residual Waste Infrastructure Review, capacity is being granted for residual waste treatment facilities faster than applications are being made.
Over the past six months, 2.6m tonnes of capacity were granted planning permission. While some facilities are finding difficulties in reaching financial close, an additional 1.1m tonnes of treatment capacity has come on stream.
According to the study, the UK is now in a position whereby it has 7 million tonnes more consented residual waste treatment capacity than there is residual waste requiring treatment.
Adam Baddeley, the report's lead author, said that the evidence pointed to all regions of the UK being on track to reach sufficient or over-capacity of residual treatment infrastructure between 2015 and 2018.
"The forthcoming end of the Renewable Obligation (RO) regime and uncertainty over forthcoming Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) is hastening the development of many incineration and gasification projects," he said.
"The evidence shows there will be an acceleration of the development of infrastructure capacity, beyond even the rates seen in the last six months."
However, many industry observers feel the planning process needs to be speeded up to ensure efficient deliverability of waste infrastructure.
In October Veolia's executive director of external affairs Robert Hunt argued that planning was still a big issue for waste facilities.
"I don't buy the view that Britain's got enough waste infrastructure or that we will ever have sufficient waste infrastructure," he said.