During the World Waste to Energy and Resources Summit 2019, one of the most interactive sessions of the programme was the the roundtable discussion groups. Hosted by an industry expert, the discussions offered a valuable opportunity to network, brainstorm solutions and share ideas with peers on similar topics and issues. Find out the key takeaways from each roundtable here:

  • Digitalisation in the Energy from Waste Industry

    Host: Morteza Hadpour Seraj,

    1. There are mixed understandings about what digitalisation really is.

    2. There is a demand, but there is currently not strong financial backing.

    3. Translating the value is key to convincing owners and operators.

  • Tailoring Waste to Energy Plants to Thrive with Wet, Low Calorific Feedstock

    Host: Samuel Alemayehu,

    1. It is important to reduce moisture at every step of the waste process to increase CV (i.e. separate inert material (soil, glass etc…) from the source, use covers at collection stations, use compacting trucks for delivery, large bunkers allow for leachate to be collected.).

    2. You have to get the consistent buy-in of all stakeholders to successfully address the challenge of low CV waste. You have to continuously improve working relationships and adjust incentives within the value chain.

    3. Invest in monetising all outputs from the facility by producing products that are useful to the public sector and projects that created the maximum job employment.

  • Growing Asia Pacific Markets – How Best to Capture Them

    Host: Chindarat Taylor,

    1. We need to understand local policies, politics, regulations.

    2. Risk management is crucial.

    3. Local parties can speed up in the process.

  • What are the Risks in Waste to Energy Developments and How Should they be Dealt With?

    Host: Peter MacLaren,

    1. Planning risk – mitigate by information and community engagement. Technology risk – stick to tried and tested technologies

    2. Contractor risk – EPC must have experience in the UK (UK regulations onerous). EPC must have power sector experience – preferably in EfW. Don’t over-focus on contract finance.

    3. Construction time – Ensure EPC programme is realistic. Avoid activational programmes. Knowledgeable investor + knowledgeable EPC + O&M + knowledgeable civil court = low risk

  • Why Does Waste to Energy Have An Important Role to Play in a Circular Economy?

    Host: Bettina Kamuk,

    1. Waste to energy recycling and anaerobic digestion goes hand in hand, waste to energy takes care of the residual waste in society.

    2. For as long as we can see, the only alternative to the residual waste if not waste to energy would be landfill.

    3. The sector needs to be better in communicating about waste to energy and the benefits to society (but the problem is that it is difficult to win an emotional debate with rational).

  • How Can the W2E Industry Make Its Case Against the Pro-Landfill Lobby?

    Host: Jaromir Manhart,

    1. Low landfilling taxes are the main obstruction to the way of waste to energy and many landfills in the country mean majority against the only waste to energy pilot project.

    2. Cooperation of municipalities with waste service companies is based on the long term contract and is the first thing you need to overcome. The second is to get waste into your hands from the current market waste-to-landfill, which is often a nightmare.

    3. To start a business of waste to energy in the country 3 crucial pillars are needed – clear law, strategy and landfilling taxes. In the same time country must not apply incineration or R1 taxes.

  • Is Waste to Energy the Ultimate Solution to Moving Away from Landfills?

    Host: Mohammed Quraishi,

    1. Waste to energy is not the ultimate solution but a final solution, provided properly segregated, recovered and recycled, only the non-recyclable waste is to be incinerated in waste to energy.

    2. Organic waste to be treated separately and the energy generate (bio gas) could be used as a separate source of energy in the plant’s organic waste could also be used for composting.

    3. Emerging new technologies (CFD) could lead to circular economy achievement as per the new EU directives.

  • What Key Policy, Regulatory and Revenue Models Need to Be in Place in Order to Make Bankable Projects in Emerging Markets?

    Host: Murat Karaege,

    1. Waste, electricity, heat offtake fees should be affordable and sustainable.

    2. Grants should be pre-requisites for any waste to energy projects. Procurement package needs to include both construction and operations.

    3. Waste to be considered as part of the PPP programme – needs to be included in the PPP framework. Waste agreement and heat/electricity agreement should work in harmony.

  • How Changes in Feedstocks, End Products and Technology Might Drive Future Business Models

    Host: James Snape,

    1. Waste is not homogenised, so we need to improve the characteristics of waste through pre-treatment or through legislation or other drivers i.e. education to improve consistency and quality of waste.

    2. Increased focus on the front-end treatment MRFs as the backend is clear / EfW / Gasification. Future value from recovery materials.

    3. Producer responsibility for materials. Will drive changes. We need to producers to take responsibility and this will reduce volumes and improve quality.

  • Waste to Energy – Do Fuels and Chemicals Eclipse Electricity?

    Host: Stuart Hayward-Higham,

    1. The market will decide what to make or what is needed but need policy / regulation / incentive to level the market.

    2. Standards unlock feedstock liquid – offtaken to define input grades to unlock market production of input.

    3. Timetable for transition – pull between the market that expects and desires less than two years, waste and technology providers 10 years (+/- 5 years).