Energy recovery from waste generally came out well in today's announcement of the new Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) subsidies covering the period up to 2016/17.
EFW with combined heat and power will continue to attract 1 ROC as opposed to a drop to 0.5 ROC in the consultation, this alongside complex changes to other (non-waste) biomass technologies. Where CIWM will want to see that waste biomass is favoured.
Anaerobic Digestion subsides will fall gradually as per the consultation proposals, from 2 currently to 1.9 ROCs in 2015/16 and then 1.8 ROCs in 2016/17 but with a proposal to stop the subsidy for new AD of less than 5MW after April 1st 2013 (subject to consultation). Very few AD plants in the UK are above the 5MW threshold; CIWM will want to be assured under the consultation that development of AD for wastes will be properly supported. This is vital to the continued development of this technology.
Advanced and standard gasification and pyrolysis ROCs have been simplified to just one band instead of two, all at the same rate of subsidy as AD but avoiding the suggested drop to 0.5 ROC for 'standard' gasification and pyrolysis.
Generation of power from landfill gas has not suffered the total removal of ROCs as suggested in the consultation, it drops from 0.25 to 0.2 ROCs for closed landfills and 0.1 ROC for 'waste heat to power' at open or closed sites. Landfill gas management and the generation of power there from has an excellent track record as well as managing a powerful green house gas emission. CIWM does not want to see any slackening of the drive to collect and beneficially use landfill gas.
These subsidies suggest confirmed recognition by Government and the role that energy recovery from residual waste is playing in the move towards more renewable energy technologies for the foreseeable future.
The general message is expected to come across in the long awaited Defra EFW Guidance which is currently being drafted and will be subject to detailed response by CIWM over the next few months.
CIWM has a unique professional but non-commercial viewpoint on these issues and will be seeking input from its members to inform further development of guidance, policy and individual instruments such as ROCs.
1. The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) is the leading professional body for the waste management sector representing over 7000 individuals in the UK and overseas. Established in 1898, CIWM is a non profit-making organisation, dedicated to the promotion of professional competence amongst waste managers. CIWM seeks to raise standards for those working in and with the sector by producing best practice guidance, developing educational and training initiatives, and providing information on key waste-related issues.