July 26, 2012
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.”
Waste management policies, and the growth potential for the WTE sector, vary dramatically by world region. In China, which recently surpassed the United States as the leading generator of municipal solid waste and which is reaching capacity for many of its 400 or so landfills, a rapid expansion of WTE capacity is currently underway. By 2022, Pike Research’s analysis shows, the Asia Pacific region will account for 54% of the electricity generated from waste-to-energy systems worldwide.
The report, “Waste-to-Energy Technology Markets”, analyzes the global market opportunity for WTE across three key technology segments: combustion, gasification, and anaerobic digestion. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the demand drivers, business models, policy factors, and technology issues associated with the rapidly-growing market for WTE. Key industry players are profiled in depth and worldwide revenue and capacity forecasts, segmented by application and region, extend through 2022. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.
Contact: Richard Martin
* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “Waste to Energy Technology Markets,” is a summary and reflects Pike Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Pike Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.