Energy from Waste Boom
The value of the international EfW market could reach $80 billion by 2022 – as analysts forecast accelerated growth for the waste sector over the next decade. According to a new report from Pike Research the demand for thermal and biological waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies will reach at least $6.2bn in 2012 and grow to $29.2bn by 2022. Contributing to this are population growth, rapid urbanization, rising levels of affluence and resource scarcity, all of which will help fuel this future demand. Although the UK is expected to see growth within the EfW market, is it worth noting that in particular it is China which is already scaling up capacity, so expected growth will also occur in Asia Pacific in the coming years.
“With many countries facing dramatic population growth, Energy from Waste is re-establishing itself as an attractive technology option to promote low-carbon growth,” says my colleague Irfan Lohiya, Principal Consultant – Waste at Allen & York.
EfW could potentially treat 396m tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) a year, producing 429TWh of power. However, high upfront capital costs and attractive economics for land filling represent persistent barriers to more widespread adoption of EfW. Nevertheless, recent project development, construction work and career opportunities within the EfW industry are expected to soar, reflecting the growing awareness of EfW potential.
How Many Jobs?
The Driving Green Growth April 2012 Report by SITA claims that up to 84,000 jobs within the waste industry will be created over the next decade. At Allen & York we’re already seeing the fruition of this claim, with demands for Project Managers within Anaerobic Digestion, Business Developers and Sales Professionals at Waste Management Companies and EfW Engineers.
Given such opportunity, with the right injection of skilled waste professionals, the waste management sector could be a real driving force for the generation of renewable energy. SITA’s report proposes that EfW could feasibly meet 15% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources commitment and a third of the country’s residential gas demand (up to 12% of total UK demand). This would effectively triple waste-derived renewable electricity from thermal combustion alone to 3.6 terawatt hours, powering one million homes. The research also claimed that the £25bn of investment which is needed to secure the new infrastructure will in turn enable the potential 84,000 new jobs being created in the waste sector over the next decade.
“Investing in new waste treatment facilities will not only create employment and economic growth but consolidate a more secure energy supply,” said SITA’s CEO, David Palmer-Jones.
Where are the new Projects?
EfW has the potential to meet a third of Britain’s domestic gas demand according to new research by SITA. In order to exploit this opportunity, a further 80 EfW facilities need to be built by 2020, on top of the 30 already operating in the UK.
Construction work has begun on a £45m energy from waste incinerator in Devon. The plant is being built in Exeter on the Marsh Barton Trading Estate and will process waste from across east Devon and is expected to burn about 60,000 tonnes of waste a year and should be operational by summer 2014. Meanwhile, in the North of the UK, construction of Lincolnshire’s first Energy from Waste (EfW) facility to treat household waste, commenced in April 2012. The facility will produce enough electricity to power over 10,000 homes and businesses and a significant number of jobs will be created.
It has also been announced this May 2012 that construction work on Viridor’s energy from waste plant at Ardley in Oxfordshire is in “full swing” following the completion of initial excavation works. It has been suggested that up to 200 new jobs will be available within the construction of this facility. Once the facility is operational, the bunker will provide storage for up to 5,000 tonnes of residual waste awaiting conversion into energy. The EfW facility will have a capacity to process 300,000 tonnes of residual, non-recyclable waste with substantial environmental benefits including the landfill diversion of up to 95 percent of waste delivered to the facility and the generation of up to 24MW of renewable electricity to be supplied to the National Grid.
Moreover, in Wales, a new Welsh energy from waste scheme has been established to aid civil engineering recruitment. A £185 million incinerator at Trident Park in Cardiff Bay, which is expected to create up to 300 jobs in construction. It is anticipated that the EfW facility will be operational by 2014, when it will have the capacity to treat 350,000 tonnes of waste, from which it will generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes.
The Waste industry, particularly Energy from Waste is set to boom over the next decade and the potential for the waste management industry to contribute to challenging energy targets is excellent. Allen & York are pleased to support this growth by partnering with leading waste management companies in their recruitment of skill professionals, and by placing experts within exciting projects throughout the globe.
Victoria Kenrick is a specialist with Allen & York, a leading international sustainability recruitment consultancy, specializing across the environmental, renewable energy, engineering, energy services and health & safety markets. Allen & York is pleased to support the growth of the clean energy infrastructure within MENA, sourcing skilled civil engineers, CCPP construction managers, project managers, renewable energy project managers and CEOs, to manage Renewable & CCPP projects for world leading energy companies. Allen & York has 18 years experience recruiting within the Energy sector. For recruitment solutions or job opportunities within the renewable energy and sustainability industry, please visit www.allen-york.com.
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