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Monday 23 October 2017
23 October 2017 - NEWS UPDATE
Renewable Energy

Huge gap in energy-from–waste capacity is costing the UK the Earth

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has highlighted a massive gap in the amount of waste produced in the UK and the infrastructure in place to transform it into renewable energy.

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A new report forecasts a gap up to 7.7 million tonnes between post-recycled rubbish and the facilities available to process it into green energy.

The GIB analysis reveals an investment opportunity of £5 billion to 2020 to create an energy recovery infrastructure to generate enough clean electricity to power one million homes.

The UK produced 85 million tonnes of waste in 2012, of which almost 21 million tonnes were sent to landfill.

Today’s report highlights how using non-recyclable waste as a fuel to generate energy rather than sending it to landfill can deliver both much needed UK energy generation capacity as well as significant environmental benefits over the longer term.

With a 70% drop in waste sent to landfill and a 26% increase in recycling since 2000, the UK is getting better at managing its waste sustainably. But Chris Holmes, Managing Director, Waste and Bioenergy at the UK Green Investment Bank, said there remains an opportunity for the UK to do more.

He added: “There is clearly a capacity gap in the UK waste market. We stand ready to back the next generation of UK waste projects, many of which we hope to see using some of the exciting newer technologies that have come to the market in recent years.

“Energy-from-waste infrastructure remains an attractive asset class, offering good financial and environmental returns and a strong project pipeline over the coming years.

“Much of the UK’s household waste is already being managed through PPP contracts with local authorities. The project pipeline is therefore increasingly focused on processing commercial and industrial waste, often using advanced conversion technologies.

“We are confident that this changing landscape can continue to provide attractive investment opportunities.”
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