Page 53 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2017 publication
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Spring 2017 European Energy Innovation        53


energy value than some single stream        only electricity) significantly increases
residues.                                   the efficiency, therefore a plant located
                                            in a colder climate with district heating
As it was mentioned earlier, the            networks or next to an industrial heat
European legislators encourage              customer, will be usually more efficient.
recycling and separate collection of
different types of waste . It will mean     In addition to these ‘location’ aspects
that the input to Waste-to-Energy plants    that are important for the performance
will change as well. The situation will of  of Waste-to-Energy plants, also
course differ depending on a country        technological developments
and current waste management                help to improve their efficiency.
policies, but we can make some EU-          According to the above mentioned
level predictions. Increased separate       study by the EU Joint Research
collection (also of bio-waste) and          Centre technologies such as heat
recycling will mean on one hand that        pumps, high steam parameters for
there will be less mixed waste, and         boilers and superheaters and flue-
on the other - that there will be more      gas condensation and component
residual waste of more homogeneous          cooling have the biggest technical
nature. As a result, input to Waste-        improvement potential.
to-Energy plants could have higher
calorific value in future.                  INTEGRATED APPROACH
                                            Waste-to-Energy has unique functions
In brief, it would mean that we need        – it treats rubbish not suitable for
less waste to generate the same             recycling while generating energy and
amount of energy.                           avoiding landfilling. It is therefore an
                                            important element that guarantees
IMPROVING PERFORMANCE                       an integrated approach to waste
Currently, state-of-the-art boilers         management, together with waste
recover over 85% of the energy              avoidance, re-use and recycling, and
contained in waste and make it usable       -as presented in this article- will still be
as steam. However, the actual energy        needed in the future. l
efficiency of a Waste-to-Energy plant
also depends on its location and how
the energy it produces is used.

In order to encourage operators to          ESWET is the association grouping the European Suppliers of Waste-to-Energy
improve the energy efficiency of their      Technology. Our main purpose is to foster the development and dissemination
plants, an R1 formula was established in    of Waste-to-Energy (also called Energy-from-Waste). This technology has an
the Waste Framework Directive in 2008.      important role to play both on the energy recovery and on the environmental
The formula calculates the efficiency at    aspects of managing waste that is not suitable for recycling.
which the produced energy is utilised,
and only if it is higher than 0,6 (or 0,65
for new plants), the operations can
be classified as recovery, and not as
disposal. The use of heat (opposed to
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