Market for waste-to-energy technologies will reach 6.2 B dollars in 2012
The market for thermal and biological waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies will reach $6.2 billion in 2012 and grow to $29.2 billion by 2022 and the market value could reach $80.6 billion by 2022.
According to Pike Research, waste-to-energy systems will treat at least 261 million tons of waste annually by 2022, with a total estimated output of 283 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity and heat generation, up from 221 TWh in 2010.
More than 800 thermal WTE plants currently operate in nearly 40 countries around the globe. These facilities treated 11 percent of MSW generated worldwide in 2011 compared to the 70 percent that went to landfills.
WTE encompasses thermal and biological conversion technologies that unlock the usable energy stored in solid waste. High upfront capital costs and attractive economics for landfilling, however, represent persistent barriers to widespread adoption.
“With many countries facing dramatic population growth, rapid urbanization, rising levels of affluence, and resource scarcity, waste-to-energy is reestablishing itself as an attractive technology option to promote low carbon growth in the crowded renewable energy landscape,” said senior analyst Mackinnon Lawrence.
China is already in the midst of scaling up capacity, and growth there is expected to shift the center of the WTE universe away from Europe to Asia Pacific.
WTE facilities are integrated into broader waste management regimes aimed at preventing the use of landfills. Though combustion technologies continue to lead the market, advanced thermal treatment technology deployments such as pyrolysis are expected to pick up as diminishing landfill capacity improves WTE economics.