The rise of energy-from-waste facilities in Australia

by Benay Ozdemir
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A trend is rising to establish energy-from-waste (EfW) plants that can be used as a form of energy from waste material into energy products like heat or electricity. 

Wastes that offer a higher calorific value than municipal solid waste this is because of the waste stream being more consistent, which results in lesser processing costs. Additionally, in the longer run, the plants can be designed to incorporate carbon capture and provide another revenue stream. 

 Director of sales and business development for Babcock & Wilcox (B&W), Andrew Waite outlines there is an increase in interest in energy-from-waste providers to expand and establish facilities that can process up to 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. 

This is because energy-from-waste facilities have proven that they can be cost effective when provided with a consistent feedstock from local businesses. 

Energy-from-waste technologies have been adapted in Europe for many years. Europe’s adaptation to energy-from-waste technologies was necessary as limited land and an increase in population produced more waste. This alternative method of landfill also concerns the environment. As climate change continues, energy-from-waste is a supportive approach in using renewable energy. 

Australia does not have the largest industrial scale operational energy-from-waste plants. However, a push is being made in Western Australia with the establishment of two energy-from-waste plants. 

Less waste and fewer emissions, energy-from-waste plays an important role in reducing environmental impact.

Waite outlines that once the WA plants are operational, the community will be able to see the importance of the plant and understand the operation complements recycling, is cost-effective and cheaper for the economy. 

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