2012 CEWEP Congress on Energy and Resource Efficiency

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2012 CEWEP Congress on Energy and Resource EfficiencyAt the opening of the 6th CEWEP congress on Energy and Resource Efficiency in Wurzburg, CEWEP's Deputy President Jan Manders confirmed that the Waste-to-Energy (WtE) industry is keen to further contribute towards energy efficiency.

"CEWEP is convinced that turning citizens' waste into local energy is the best you can do with waste which is not suitable for recycling - thus using it as a resource!", he pointed out.

In addition, metals found in the bottom ash that remains after the combustions process can be extracted and recycled - further contributing to resource efficiency.

During his key note speech, Karl Falkenberg Director General, European Commission DG Environment, stated that Europe is still a leader when it comes to innovative technology, particularly in the environmental area and specifically when it comes to handling waste. "We have export opportunities here that we should seize", he said.

He also pointed out that more aggressive communication would be necessary to explain that modern WtE Plants have very low levels of emissions: "If more people knew that a modern incinerator emits, at the end of the process, into the air about the quantity of emissions that one of the many lories that bring the waste to the plant, we would have achieved a lot in understanding."

Dr. Anja Weisgerber MEP said "As it is not always possible to achieve high quality new products from recycling, Waste-to-Energy provides the opportunity to reduce landfill rates, which are still high in many EU countries."

"The EU must urge complete implementation of European waste legislation in order to achieve resource and energy efficient waste management," She added.

Reinforcing this sentiment, Helge Wendenburg from the Ministry of the Environment in Germany - a country achieving outstanding recycling rates - pointed out that "we need incineration because recycling is not always possible".

Experts from across Europe talked about energy efficiency of WtE plants and the strides that have been made in order to improve it, thus replacing more fossil fuels and making a greater contribution to climate protection.

How WtE contributes to resource efficiency by recycling valuable metals from the bottom ash was illustrated by Prof. Deike, University of Duisburg-Essen.

The excellent speakers also informed the participants about Best Available Techniques, Life Cycle Assessment, Co-siting of Anaerobic Digestion and WtE, market developments and architecture in WtE.

Happy birthday

This years' CEWEP congress coincided with the association's 10th Birthday. CEWEP's Managing Director Ella Stengler presented highlights of the development of the WtE industry over the last 10 years.

"Today, CEWEP represents 85% of the European WtE industry and we are proud of our members'' environmental commitment. In the past 10 years the WtE sector has been growing significantly and will continue to grow, while at the same time Recycling raises and Landfilling is reduced - hopefully significantly!" she added.

CEWEP's Deputy President from France, Luc Valaize (TIRU/SVDU), concluded that thanks to progressive European legislation enormous strides have been made in WtE.

Looking towards the future, he said: "Regarding energy efficiency, there is a major opportunity for WtE plants to use even more energy from waste in the form of heat, if linking of heat (or process steam) customers to WtE Plants would be encouraged. Therefore we need drivers for improving infrastructure for district heating and cooling in addition to incentives to maximise electricity production from waste, including grid access."

The CEWEP congress gathered 170 participants from 18 countries.

The following day delegates had the opportunity to experience firsthand how a WtE plant works, by visiting the WtE plant in Wurzburg. The plant treats about 200,000 tonnes of municipal waste and sewage sludge. From this 91.5 million kWh of electricity and 39.7 million kWh of district heating is fed into the electricity and district heating network.

Presentations given during the 6th CEWEP Congress are available HERE

For further information, please contact Dr. Ella Stengler CEWEP Managing Director ella.stengler@cewep.eu

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