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WASTE-TO-ENERGY MARKET IS HELPING TO ADJUST CHINESE MIX OF ENERGY SOURCES

China’s waste incineration sector has rapidly grown over the last five years, and could develop even more if more innovative technologies are introduced.

According to the Chinese government’s guidelines, in China the waste-to-energy sector has experienced rapid growth from 2011 to 2015, and over 300 incineration plants are expected to be operational or under construction by the end of 2015, thus allowing the overall incineration capacity to reach the impressive amount of 100 million tons. This growth in probably the result of the policies the government has put in place to foster the adjustment of the mix of Chinese energy sources, and is a part of the country’s planned economic transformation.

The first incineration plant was established in Shenzen in 1985, while the country’s largest plant at the present moment is the Beijing Chaoyang Green Power Station, which has a daily incineration capacity of 1,300 tons and an annual power generation capacity of 136 million kW/h.

This plant is expected to further increase its annual power generation – which should reach 225 kW/h – by the end of 2015, and Beijing is also planning to invest 2 billion RMB (c. US$322 million) to fund the building of other four plants.

Data from the National Center of Solid Waste Management – a research unit under the Ministry of Environmental Protection – show that in 2012 China was already the country with the world’s largest amount of waste incineration, as it had 138 operative waste incineration plants, with an aggregate processing volume exceeding 35 million tons.

Other statistics show that China’s annual urban solid waste generation is likely to reach nearly 200 million tons in 2015 and exceed 230 million tons by 2020, which is why several Chinese environmental protection companies are using their capital advantage to expand into the sector.

However, the market is currently confronting some growth barriers, such as difficulties in receiving waste treatment subsidies from the government, low feed-in tariffs, frequent lack of support at the local level and underdeveloped technologies. Consequently, the government should foster greater industrialization of the market by updating the regulatory framework, upgrading the processes and the architecture and increasing the research and development of more innovative technologies.

 

The gLAWcal Team

POREEN project

Thursday, 30 April 2015

(Source: Renewable Energy World)