Don't waste the potential...
26 June 2013
On the face of it energy from waste seems like it should be a no-brainer. Take unwanted waste and turn it into a valuable, environmentally friendly source of energy - ta dah! If only it were that simple...
Look for energy from waste on the internet and for every good news story ("Bradford energy-from-waste bid set for approval", "Energy-from-waste facilities get green light across UK"), there is one that indicates a less positive outlook ("Scottish council loses appeal against waste to energy pyrolysis plant", "Waste to energy a health hazard?").
Whatever the nuances of the widely differing opinions out there, the fact remains that renewable resources are vital to the future energy mix of the UK, and energy from waste represents a significant contributor to this.
That is why it is good to see that leaders from Siemens and the energy from waste sector have united in a call for a rapid sea change in policy in order to encourage the Government to develop a long term strategy to address the need for a greater mix of renewable energy sources, with a focus of maximising the use of energy from waste facilities.
As George Giles, head of renewable power at Siemens Industry says: "Energy from waste has the real potential to help the UK meet its energy requirements, which is becoming an ever more pressing issue. By way of example the anaerobic digestion market has the potential to grow by a substantial 800% by 2020.
"So while the sector grows in terms of investment and research, this is happening in spite of a lack of coherent strategy from Government for how we best deal with waste. We urgently need a strategy for how biogas should best be used in Britain. If we get this missing piece of the jigsaw in place we can head in the right direction in terms of a truly sustainable energy mix.”