World Waste to Energy, Roadmap for the Future

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 15.50.12With 250 waste to energy leaders gathered in London for the 2015 World Waste to Energy City Summit, we pooled the vast array of expertise in the room to create a vision for the future of the waste to energy industry.

Divided into small groups, delegates were asked to generate ideas across the following core areas: Policy, Technology, Finance, Feedstock and Public Engagement.

We collated these ideas to create the following roadmap for the future of the industry:


  • Government committed to the promotion of renewables
  • Waste elevated politically: Policy driven centrally from one department
  • A switch from subsidies (carrots) towards taxation (sticks)
  • Clarity over CfDs with a better risk/reward balance for developers
  • Consistency over planning decisions nationally
  • Mandatory separation of biowaste by 2025
  • Long-term policy stability beyond the 5-year government cycle


  • ACT proven to work long-term, including O&M costs
  • Proven and transparent efficiency figures of over 40%
  • Scale of plants accurately matched to each waste stream
  • ACT plants producing gas, liquid fuels and chemicals
  • Heat as a reliable revenue stream, with district heating integrated into all new urban planning


  • Ready availability of finance for merchant plants
  • Help given to the funding market to assess the merchant waste risk more accurately
  • Refinancing available during the operational period – with GIB taking on some of the risk
  • More commercial lenders attracted into the sector, reducing overall financing costs
  • Better risk-sharing schemes between the EPC contractor, developer and technology provider


  • Rebirth of the proximity principal – local waste for local plants
  • Scale of plants smaller so less risk in sourcing feedstock
  • Waste owners offering stable long term supply to ACT facilities
  • Clearly defined and standardised RDF specification driven by the market
  • Stringent SRF testing for export with greater enforcement


  • A new generation with a strong awareness of the value of waste as a resource
  • W2E perceived the same as any other piece of strategic infrastructure
  • Better understanding of the trade-offs between centralised and distributed plants
  • Outreach and education about the value / benefits of waste separation and collection
  • Standardised infrastructure and rules for waste separation at source
  • Public perception of waste to energy matches that of Copenhagen

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For more information on how you get can involved in shaping the debate at the 2016 summit, contact:
Stephan Groves on +44 1273 789989