Thursday, December 1, 2011

WTE: Next-Generation Sustainable Energy

Allington Waste to Energy Power PlantImage by Colt Group via Flickr
WTE: Next-Generation Sustainable Energy
by Marco J Castaldi
Power Magazine July 2010

The typical question I hear after lectures and presentations on WTE technologies is, "Why aren't we doing more of this?" The simple answer I give is that preconceived notions, based on incinerator emissions before the MACT regulations, have held back development. But that is changing.

English: Annual electricity net generation fro...Image via WikipediaCurrently, WTE constitutes about 25% of the renewable energy produced in the U.S. That percentage has the potential to grow because only 7% of waste is converted to energy via WTE, 64% if landfilled, and the remaining 29% is recycled.

Encouragingly, WTE was identified among eight emerging green technologies in a report from the Davos World Economic Forum in 2009 entitled "Green Investing: Towards a Clean Energy Infrastructure."
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