UK waste to energy operator enfinium has published a report called “A vision for the future of UK waste“, in which it argues that waste should be reduced, with carbon capture deployed on all new facilities after 2025.
Mike Maudsley, CEO of enfinium, said: “Despite long-term efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle, the UK has never produced more waste. We also do not deal with our waste effectively enough and too much is either sent to climate-damaging landfill, or shipped overseas. This needs to change.
“With the support of government, we believe the UK can both reduce its waste footprint, while making better use of the waste that cannot be recycled. Diverting more waste from landfill and overseas will increase the UK’s homegrown energy generation which, when coupled with carbon capture technology, will remove carbon from the atmosphere and make a material contribution to achieving Net Zero by 2050.”
The company outlines several other priority areas that would alleviate the problem – reducing the total amount of waste, ending combustible waste entering landfills, reducing waste exports and improving consumer awareness of it impact.
The enfinium report ties its recommendations with the inclusion of energy from waste to the planned unrolling of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme in 2028 and highlights the scale of the opportunity on multiple fronts including jobs, energy security and last but not least – the potential to increase the amount of captured CO2 in the UK with 20% by 2050.
Waste to energy has been one of the growth areas in the broader carbon capture of late. Northern Ireland-based Nuada was recently awarded a $850,000 (£666,525) grant through the CCUS Innovation 2.0 programme and will collaborate with the Translational Energy Research Centre (TERC), a national pilot-testing research facility at the University of Sheffield.
The city of Oslo and its business partners are also involved in a substantial waste to energy project. In mid-2022 the group agreed to pay up to $690 million for completing a carbon capture project by 2026 after it showed promising test results. The estimated total cost is almost $1.05 billion.