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Slower growth in waste-to-energy market?

Global – There are approaching 2200 waste incineration plants worldwide, with 180 more set to be added by 2017. However, the global waste-to-energy market ‘will slow down’ – especially in Europe, according to a new study from German consultant ecoprog.

Existing waste-to-energy plants currently boast an annual capacity of nearly 255 million tonnes, with planned additions to contribute a further 52 million tonnes. But following growth up to 2015, commissioned capacities in Europe are expected to decline from 3.5 million tonnes in that year to less than 2 million tonnes in 2017. Overall, investments in new incineration plants in Europe will decrease by some 40% to around Euro 1 billion by 2017.

Fading demand

‘The increasingly saturated British market will particularly decline in the future,’ the study reports. ‘Today, this market still is the main stimulus of growth in Europe. It compensated the industry when the development of incineration capacities in countries such as Germany or the Netherlands had stopped.’ However, UK waste-to-energy demand will gradually fade after 2016 ‘at the latest’, it is stated.

The same cannot be said for China, the study claims. The nation’s waste-to-energy market ‘is on a high level’ and will remain ‘the most important market in the years to come’. Each year to 2017, China will commission some 125 new plants with a combined annual capacity of 40 million tonnes, it is suggested.

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