Waste-to-energy applications

11/1/2010 3:59:52

In spite of waste prevention targets and actions, the generation of municipal waste, both per capita and in absolute terms, continues to grow in Western European countries. Waste represents an enormous loss of resources in the form of both materials and energy. In fact, the amount of waste disposed of can be seen as an indicator of how efficient we are as a society, particularly in relation to our use of natural resources.

Fortum is of the opinion that:

1. The objective of waste management is the protection of human health and the environment.

2. The ‘Waste Hierarchy’ principle is a relevant foundation for waste management, ensuring that combustible waste otherwise destined to landfills is used as a fuel.

3. The primary purpose of waste-to-energy applications is to produce energy – not only to get rid of waste.

4. In addition to the above, the following are characteristic of a sustainable waste-to-energy solution:

  • a relevant framework of waste management plans, permits, inspections, and the like, steering e.g. waste-to-energy capacity and operation
  • maximised energy efficiency, preferably using CHP (Combined Heat and Power)
  • highly developed waste pre-treatment, emissions capture, and ash treatment

5. The fossil part of waste is regarded as a fossil fuel, the renewable part a renewable fuel.