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Small scale Energy from Waste: Drivers and barriers
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, Energy and Circular Economy.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9202-9393
Ricardo Energy & Environment.
2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The International Energy Agency Bioenergy Task 36 – ‘Integrating Energy Recovery in to Solid Waste Management Systems’ (Task 36) reviewed small scale energy from waste (EfW) systems in (Stein and Tobiasen, 2004). That review examined the technology and economics of small-scale energy conversion systems and reported on the level of commercial availability in IEA Bioenergy Task 36 member countries. There has been a demand for an update on that report for a while. However, since there has not been a major leap in technology since that report, the aim of this updated task report is focused on the drivers and barriers regarding small scale EfW.

A yearly capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year (t/y) has been set as the limit for small scale Energy from Waste in this topic report. The drivers and barriers has mainly been done through three case studies, one each in France, Sweden and the UK, but literature and people working within the field of EfW have also been consulted on the subject.

There are clear policy drivers which are influencing EfW development in general, but the decision to develop facilities on a small scale are more relevant to local politics and situation. The factors behind the development of different small scale facilities will differ, as evidenced in the three examples of France, Sweden and the UK.

It is recognised that the costs, both operational and capital, are higher for small scale EfW facilities, but that despite this, there are often other drivers which take precedence over economics alone. Whilst it may be challenging in some cases to demonstrate value for money, other benefits will support a case for small scale EfW.

In the future, financial incentives, and energy and resource drivers may further drive the development of smaller scale EfW facilities using Advanced Conversion Technologies. These technologies enable flexibility in the way in which outputs from EfW are uses, and are likely to be at a smaller scale. For example, the conversion of syngas for use as a fuel in dedicated gas engines, for conversion in to liquid fuels, or use as ammonia or methanol, which can be used in transport fuels and/or as a chemical feedstock. Energy and resource drivers will also add to this, in additional to waste management and landfill diversion targets.

Geography can be a driving factor for small scale EfW, but in many cases there are additional drivers.

Security of supply is a factor to consider. A larger plant might have the economics of scale, but uncertainties in the supply will affect the economic risk assessment and might thus make it harder to initially finance the investment.

The advantages offered by small scale EfW, such as the treatment of waste close to the point of generation, the generation of jobs in the local community, and lower transport distances, all serve to increase the public acceptance of such facilities. With their smaller footprint, smaller scale EfW facilities can be more easily integrated in to existing industrial areas.

Technical issues are not deemed to be a specific barrier. Technologies deployed at small scale are established, and include conventional combustion facilities such as moving grate and oscillating kilns, and Advanced Conversion Technologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Series
IEA Bioenergy, IEA Task 36
Keyword [en]
small scale, energy from waste, waste to energy, landfill directive, waste framework directive, heat, legislation
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-29438OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-29438DiVA: diva2:1093561
Note

IEA Bioenergy: Task 36: Integrating Energy Recovery into Solid Waste Management Systems

Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-05-08 Last updated: 2017-05-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

http://task36.ieabioenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IEA-Bioenergy-Small-scale-EfW-Final.pdf

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