WASTE-TO-ENERGY NEWS
New Research Shows Renewable Energy Strengthens the Economy in Michigan and Minnesota

New reports released by A Renewable America confirm that economic growth, energy independence, and new job creation are just a few of the many reasons that a significant majority of Americans consistently support developing renewable electricity.  Solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and waste-to-energy already provide more than 13 percent of U.S. electricity, and renewables are capturing an increasing share of the power grid every year. In 2013, the major renewable electricity technologies provided well over 527 million megawatt hours of electricity to the utility grid – enough to supply the equivalent of over 43 million average American homes. The renewable electricity industries also represent an important source of American jobs, directly employing over half a million people. 

Two new reports highlighting the current and potential economic benefits from developing renewable electricity in Michigan and Minnesota find that the existing deployment of renewable energy is already delivering significant economic benefits. These two states also have considerable untapped renewable electricity potential, and these analyses find that developing these resources can deliver significant economic gains.

 

“We choose to invest in biomass, solar, and waste-to-energy because of the financial benefits to General Motors. We only purchase renewable energy that is on par or beats nonrenewable energy options – that is the number one priority when we evaluate projects. Renewable energy delivers direct daily savings and offers us the ability to control energy costs in the future as a hedge. Investing in renewable energy offers an opportunity to educate our customers, employees and the community that these technologies are cost competitive with traditional power.”  ---ROB THRELKELD, MANAGER, RENEWABLE ENERGY, GENERAL MOTORS

“Waste-to-energy facilities are net greenhouse gas (GHG) reducers meaning that for every ton of trash burned, waste-to-energy facilities reduce net GHGs by more than one ton, when compared to a traditional landfill. In addition, waste-to-energy facilities maintain the strictest emissions controls and are always investing in new technologies to reduce emissions further.”  ---DOUG WOOD, DIRECTOR, KENT COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

“The Hennepin Energy Recovery Center is located in downtown Minneapolis, across from Target Field. We are able to take the waste generated at Target Field and convert it into energy for them to use. This facility meets extremely high air quality and emissions standards and generates positive environmental and economic benefits for the county.”  ---CARL MICHAUD,  DIRECTOR, HENNEPIN COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

NAWTEC 23 Call For Papers

The NAWTEC 2015 Call for Proposals is now open and the deadline is November 21, 2014.  The 23rd Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference will take place in Tampa, Florida, on April 29 – May 1, 2015.  NAWTEC is the premiere event for those interested in municipal waste-to-energy, combustion engineering science and emerging waste conversion and processing technologies.   NAWTEC is seeking proposals on the following topics:

Powering Growth in the Sector

  • Policies that Support Waste-to-Energy
  • The Economic Dynamics of Waste Conversion Technologies
  • Case Studies of New WTE Projects (U.S. and International)

Improving the Business Opportunities of WTE Facilities

  • Opportunities in Special Waste Markets
  • Opportunities to Beneficially Reuse Ash
  • Innovations to Improve Metal Recovery

Advancing Waste-to-Energy through Research and Technology

  • Combustion and Air Emissions Research and Technologies
  • Thermal Treatment and Waste Combustion Technologies
  • Advanced Air Emissions Control Technologies

Understanding and Articulating the Benefits of WTE

  • WTE as a Zero Waste to Landfill Strategy
  • Generating Public Acceptance
  • Comparing Successfully and Unsuccessfully Developed Projects

Improving WTE Plant Operations

  • Innovations in Operations & Maintenance
  • Promoting and Enhancing Safety and Industrial Hygiene
  • Facility Retrofit and Upgrade Case Studies

NAWTEC 23 again will include a WTE Lightning Round, which offers a limited number of individuals the opportunity to provide a concise two-minute presentation during the opening plenary. We invite prospective participants to submit a brief description of a Lightning Round theme that you would like to present.  All proposals must be submitted online by November 14, 2014.  To get started, click here. Please direct any questions to Sue Bumpous of SWANA at 240-494-2253 or Ted Michaels of ERC at 202-467-6240.

Renewable energy is ready to help states meet EPA's new carbon rule

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its first-ever proposed rule limiting carbon dioxide pollution from existing power plants. Renewable energy industries have done their part to cut costs and are already helping every state make progress to cut their carbon emissions. Even better, these industries can help states make even more significant reductions, in accordance with the proposed rule – saving consumers money and driving local economic development in the process.

Over the last few years, wind, solar, biomass, waste-to-energy and other renewable energy technologies have experienced record growth and a major reduction in costs. Costs are continuing to trend downwards, and the reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and deployed megawatts are rapidly heading upwards. Below are statements from several of the renewable energy trade associations in reaction to EPA’s draft proposal today:

"The Energy Recovery Council applauds the Obama Administration on today’s announcement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants,” said Ted Michaels, President of the Energy Recovery Council. “ERC believes that renewable technologies, such as waste-to-energy, will help give states a variety options and strategies to meet its objectives.  Waste-to-energy is a critical greenhouse gas mitigation tool relied on by the European Union to achieve GHG reductions, and with significant potential for further deployment in the U.S.  According to the U.S. EPA, every ton of municipal solid waste processed at a waste-to-energy facility reduces lifecycle GHG emissions by one ton of carbon dioxide equivalents.”

“Reducing carbon pollution by deploying renewable energy will keep electricity affordable and reliable, create jobs, and support local economic development. Renewable energy technologies have become integral and reliable parts of the U.S. electricity supply. Meeting these regulations is very doable, and the U.S.-made renewable energy industries are ready to do so affordably,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association.

“Biomass Power Association commends the Obama Administration for its strong commitment to reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants,” said Bob Cleaves, President and CEO of the Biomass Power Association. “This is an exciting time for renewable energy, especially the biomass industry.”

ERC Releases 2014 Directory of U.S. WTE Facilities

The Energy Recovery Council today released The 2014 ERC Directory of Waste-to-Energy Facilities, which provides information on the 84 waste-to-energy facilities in the United States and the key issues affecting the sector.   By processing post-recycled municipal solid waste,  today's waste-to-energy facilities:

  • Produce renewable, baseload energy
  • Reduce greenhouse gases
  • Create good-paying, green jobs
  • Operate with superior environmental performance
  • Complement and enhance recycling goals

Eighty-four waste-to-energy facilities in 23 states have the capacity to process more than 96,000 tons of waste per day with a baseload electric capacity of 2,769 megawatt hours.  Due to superior operational reliability, the nation’s waste-to-energy facilities process in excess of 30 million tons of trash per year, sell more than 14.5 million megawatt hours to the grid, and recover more than 730,000 tons of ferrous metals for recycling.  In addition, many facilities sell steam directly to end users offsetting the use of fossil fuels to make that energy.

New Recycling Compatibility Report Reaffirms that WTE & Recycling are Compatible

A new recycling compatibility report was released by Eileen Berenyi of Governmental Advisory Associates today entitled, “A Compatibility Study: Recycling and Waste-to-Energy Work in Concert, 2014 Update”.  This study updates similar analyses conducted in 2008 and 2009. Their purpose was to answer the question: Does a community’s use of a waste-to-energy plant to dispose of its waste impact the level of recycling in that community? The 2008 study answered that question with a resounding no. The means of disposal had no impact on the level of recycling; in fact, many communities which sent their waste to a waste-to-energy plant had higher levels of recycling than averages that prevailed across their state. This current paper, updates the study, using 2012 data as much as possible. In an examination of recycling rates of 700 communities in twenty-one states, which rely on waste-to-energy for their waste disposal, it was again demonstrated that this means of disposal had no impact on recycling.  In fact, overall communities using waste-to-energy had a slightly higher level of recycling than that observed across their states and across the nation.