Growing global energy demand and increased concerns over environmental issues have prompted governments across the globe to commence initiatives and financial schemes to encourage production of energy from industrial and agricultural wastes.
A recent study by SBI Energy revealed that wastes to energy could meet as much as 10 percent of the world's electricity demands.
The report released at the weekend revealed a worldwide shift towards waste to energy technologies, noting that based on continued growth in Asia, and the maturing of European Union (EU) waste regulations and United States climate mitigation strategies, annual global market for waste to energy technologies will exceed $27 billion by 2021 for all technologies combined.
The study revealed that, in the past five years, the global waste to energy market had grown from around $4.83 billion in 2006, to $7.08 billion in 2010 - showing impressive gains throughout the economic downturn.
The SBI pointed out that based on continued growth in Asia, and the maturing of EU waste regulations and US climate mitigation strategies, annual global market for waste to energy technologies will exceed $27 billion by 2021 for all technologies combined.
“Each year the world generates more than 2.1 billion tons (1.9 billion tonnes) of waste, most of which ends up in landfill, allowed to decay and release methane, carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, odours, groundwater quality pollutants, and a host of other air, water, and soil pollutants. Locked inside that waste is approximately 24.5 quadrillion Btu (718,024 GWh) of energy - enough heat to generate about 10 percent of the electricity consumed annually around the globe”, the study revealed.
The report however stated that in many developed nations, the availability of landfill capacity has been flat or steadily decreasing due to regulatory, planning and environmental permitting constraints. As a result, it said, new approaches to waste management are rapidly being written into public and institutional policies at local to national levels.
“Landfilling still accounts for the overwhelming majority of waste management facilities in developed countries, generally performs well in terms of throughput, public health, and safety, according to the report. But many current and widespread waste management practices are mediocre or even poor performers in terms of energy efficiency and environmental performance”, the report added. The report cited rapid depletion of conventional sources of energy as a key factor in the shift. The SBI also disclosed that ongoing research will resolve current concerns of conversion and efficiency - making waste a mainstream source of energy.
SBI Reports have been leading industrial market research reporting for more than a decade. SBI Energy reports capture data vital to emerging energy market sectors on a global scale.