Monday July 30, 2012 0 commentsBOULDER - A growing use of waste-to-energy systems is expected to result in more than 260 million tons of municipal solid waste being converted to base-load power and heat by 2022, according to a report by Boulder-based Pike Research.
That number could even be as high as 396 million tons annually under a more optimistic scenario, the report said, as the current 800-plus thermal waste-to-energy plants in nearly 40 countries continues to grow to keep pace with population and waste demands.
"Ten years from now the world's rapidly increasing urban population will generate nearly three billion tons of MSW per year, representing an estimated 240 gigawatts of untapped energy potential," said Mackinnon Lawrence, senior research analyst.
"The escalation in waste generation presents policy makers with a difficult choice: either expand existing landfill capacity or invest in new waste-to-energy capacity, which can reduce the overall volume of waste that must be dumped."
A free executive summary of the report, "Waste-to-Energy Technology Markets," is available for download at www.navigant.com/pikeresearch.