More Than 260 Million Tons of Waste per Year Will Be Converted to Energy by 2022, Forecasts Pike ResearchPosted on July 28, 2012 by DrRossH in Landfills and Disposal
Today, nearly three-quarters of the trash discarded worldwide ends up in landfills or open pits. With many countries facing dramatic population growth, rapid urbanization, rising levels of affluence, and resource scarcity, systems that convert waste to energy (WTE) are becoming an attractive technology option to divert this waste to useful purposes and to promote low carbon growth.
According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, more than 800 thermal waste-to-energy plants operate in nearly 40 countries around the globe – a number that is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade. By 2022, Pike Research forecasts, at least 261 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) will be converted to base load power and heat. Under a more optimistic scenario, that figure could reach 396 million tons annually, the equivalent of 429 terawatt-hours of power.
“Ten years from now the world’s rapidly increasing urban population will generate nearly 3 billion tons of MSW per year, representing an estimated 240 gigawatts of untapped energy potential,” says senior research analyst Mackinnon Lawrence. “The escalation in waste generation presents policy makers with a difficult choice: either expand existing landfill capacity (an unappealing, but low-cost option in many areas) or invest in new waste-to-energy capacity, which can reduce the overall volume of waste that must be dumped.”