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Why Waste-to-Energy has Become Important

Waste to energy systems are the answer to both energy demand and waste management concerns


The global requirement for energy is growing at a 2.5 to four percent every year, and studies predict the requirement will reach 778 Etta Joule by 2035.

At the same time, it is important to also understand that electricity alone would account for 20 percent of total energy demand from the turn of the decade.

While countries across the world are trying everything possible to meet the overwhelming energy needs, they have also realized that the solutions should not be temporary but sustainable. That leads them to options that develop out of renewable sources or converting waste-to-energy, points out a recent study.

As much as the global energy requirement is overwhelming, so are the volumes of waste generated across multiple sources. While recycling waste into products has emerged as an option, converting waste into energy is also becoming a plausible solution.

Tested and proven results in large scale pilot projects have instilled trust among consumers about waste-to-energy projects. This has become key for the growing demand from municipal bodies and industries.

While recognizing the feasibility of such large-scale projects is imperative, their ability to reduce reliance on third-party sources for energy influences decisions favoring the implementation of these projects. Every municipal body today is looking at creating a self-sustained infrastructure.

And energy, forms a critical aspect as nearly every modern infrastructure is powered by electricity. This is why the global waste-to-energy market is expected to grow at 70 percent between 2018 and 2026, reaching US$32 billion.  

For a municipal body, the volume of waste generated from residences and commercial establishments is key. Data shows that in the United States, average municipal solid waste (MSW) is climbing at roughly percent every year. This volume of waste is the first reason that prompts municipal bodies to feel that the waste-to-energy projects are feasible.

At the same time, municipalities can also see waste-to-energy projects as an option for wealth out of waste. Electricity production can help municipal bodies create revenue sources as the return of investments start appearing on balance sheets in a few years.

Waste-to-energy projects not only make municipal bodies a self-sustained set-up, but also take them to a different level in terms of mitigating climate change. Where every part of the world is rolling out solutions to battle carbon emissions, waste-to-energy projects can be a golden opportunity to achieve this.

As waste generated is put to use, the contribution of greenhouse gases from waste will drop in the coming years. At the same time, relying on waste to produce energy will also eliminate the dependence of fossil fuels or coal for energy. This will further the efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

The study shows that Europe and Asia Pacific will account for 70 percent of waste-to-energy business potential in the coming years. In Europe, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom hold for nearly 75 percent of market share.

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Ardash Jain is editor at Transparency Market Research


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