The following Energy practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Energy from Waste (EfW) plants fall into three broad categories:
anaerobic digestion (AD) (a process that uses bacteria to decompose waste) (see Practice Note: Anaerobic digestion—technology), and
thermal treatment of waste to raise steam, which is used to generate electricity and provide heat to nearby industries and or community facilities
For more information on the technologies used to recover EfW, see Practice Note: Waste to energy—technologies.
in the private sector (eg Slough Heat and Power, acquired in 2008 by Scottish and Southern Energy)
as PFI projects (eg the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) PFI project), and
potentially, as wholly public sector ventures associated with municipal waste facilities following the Sale of Electricity by Local Authorities Regulations 2010, SI 2010/1910
EfW projects are typically driven by:
regulatory factors, eg the UK's obligation:
to reduce waste sent to landfill under the EU Landfill Directive requirements (Directive 1999/31/EC)
to increase the share of energy from renewable sources to 20% by 2020 under the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC)
energy security concerns (eg gas supplies from sources other than the North Sea)
energy supply shortfalls (eg Anglesey Aluminium's proposed biomass plant, required to fill the energy gap left following termination of its supply agreement with Wylfa nuclear power station)
escalating landfill tax rates
incentives (eg through Renewables Obligation Certificates)
EfW projects are subject to rigorous consent
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