Why Are Businesses Looking Toward Waste to Energy as an Effective Waste Management Solution?

21 Mar



  • Introduction
  • Advantages of waste-to-energy solutions
  • Major partnerships and collaborations in the sector

Environmental pollution is a matter of concern in the current century. Several countries represented themselves in the 1992 Rio Summit and laid down guidelines as to how each country could take steps to curb carbon emissions and environmental pollution. To adhere to these guidelines, these countries, along with private companies, started introducing revolutionary changes in different sectors to reduce the environmental pollution caused by them. Waste to energy is one such revolutionary step that is expected to bring down pollution levels across the globe.

How have waste-to-energy solutions ensured environmental sustainability and energy security?

Waste to energy is an electricity or heat generation solution that involves the treatment and processing of primary waste to convert it into fuel. To produce fuel, the primary waste undergoes gasification using the anaerobic digestion technique of microorganisms. The fuels produced from such techniques include methane, ethanol, methanol, and other synthetic fuels. Another way electricity or heat is generated from primary waste is through direct combustion. For electricity generation, the heat produced through combustion is then used to convert water to steam, which is then used to revolve the turbines. These revolving turbines then generate electricity for future use.

Traditionally, waste management involved the utilization of primary waste for filling up the landfills. However, over the years, the problems associated with this waste management solution have become quite apparent. Firstly, primary waste includes a lot of toxic junk including electronic and biomedical waste. Storing this waste in landfills for a long time leads to seepage of toxic chemicals into the ground. Given enough time, these chemicals start mixing with the groundwater, thus causing massive environmental pollution.

Furthermore, long-term storage of primary waste in landfills results in formation of greenhouse gases, which further contribute to global warming and climate change. On the other hand, waste-to-energy solutions involve the segregation of waste into several types before treating and processing them. As a result of this segregation, resource recovery becomes easier as the recyclable materials are separated before the waste is treated and processed.

Over the past few years, waste-to-energy solutions have become widely popular across the globe owing to which the waste to energy industry is anticipated to experience major growth in the coming years. On the basis of region, Europe is expected to witness a massive surge in the adoption of waste-to-energy solutions in the near future. The rise in awareness regarding the need to shift to renewable energy sources is estimated to be the primary growth driver of the domain in this region.

Furthermore, various countries such as Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands have started installing waste to energy plants with the help of governmental support and investments from the private sector. Along with this, the rise in shift toward circular economy and resource efficiency is projected to play a significant role in the growth of the sector in Europe. Owing to these reasons, the industry is estimated to have the highest growth rate and rise at a CAGR of 5.7% in Italy.

How have private companies contributed to the growth of this domain in the past few years?

In recent times, various companies operating in this industry have invested heavily in R&D activities to enhance their waste-to-energy capabilities. On the other hand, certain companies have established alliances with other firms to expand their scope of operations in the domain. Along with this, many companies have launched waste to energy plants and adopted a more sustainable approach to energy generation.

For instance, in June 2023, Viridi Energy, a full-service renewable natural gas producer, announced its partnership with American Organic Energy, a leading food waste energy processing facility. Viridi Energy released a statement saying that under the partnership, 210,000 tons of food waste are projected to be converted to renewable natural gas (RNG) every year. Similarly, in July 2023, Besix, a Belgian-French construction firm, announced its collaboration with Hitachi. Under this collaboration, both companies jointly launched a waste-to-energy plant in Dubai. With an initial investment of $1.2 billion, the launch signifies the commitment of these companies toward sustainable energy generation.

To sum it up, waste-to-energy solutions have become a popular alternative to the traditional waste management techniques of filling up landfills. The traditional methodology has certain flaws that increase environmental pollution eventually. The industry is expected to grow substantially across the globe, especially in the European region.

For tips and suggestions on how businesses must capitalize on the opportunities offered by the industry, feel free to contact us

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Author's Bio- Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the reputed Vishwakarma Institute of Technology. He has a special interest in the fields of forensics, world history, international relations and foreign policy, sports, agriculture, astronomy, security, and oceanography. An ardent bibliophile and melophile, Akhilesh loves to write on topics of his interest and various other societal issues. This love for writing made him enter the professional world of content writing and pursue his career in this direction.


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