Waste to energy infrastructure projects—an introduction
Produced in partnership with Irwin Mitchell
Waste to energy infrastructure projects—an introduction

The following Construction guidance note Produced in partnership with Irwin Mitchell provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Waste to energy infrastructure projects—an introduction
  • What do lawyers need to think about?
  • Key Government policy/legislation
  • Different forms of waste to energy
  • Typical procurement routes and structure
  • Funding waste to energy infrastructure
  • Typical construction contracts for waste to energy
  • Operating and maintenance contracts and EPC contracts
  • Heavily-negotiated clauses

Brexit: This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. For further reading, see: Brexit—impact on environmental law.

Historically, the main treatment route for waste in the UK has been landfill, primarily due to the availability of suitable sites created by past mineral extraction. However, since the mid-1990s, use of landfill sites has been changing, as the potential impact of waste management on climate change has become recognised and EU directives and UK legislation have made landfill less attractive.

These developments have, in turn, helped drive the development of waste to energy plants, which is about taking waste and turning it into a usable form of energy. This waste to energy can include energy outputs such as electricity, heat and commodities such as transport fuels or natural gas. Many plants are now being built with energy generation, in addition to waste management, being a key part of their function.

In 2012, the UK produced more than 85m tonnes of waste, 20.9m tonnes of which went to landfill. Based upon this waste being produced, at least ten new energy recovery facilities could be built each year until 2020. This could equate to electricity for 1m homes, the creation of around 1,000 long-term jobs and the creation of up to 6,000 jobs at the peak of construction. For more details,