The global waste-to-energy market (WTE) should reach $6.2 billion in 2012 and grow to $29.2 billion by 2022, according to a new report.
According to the cleantech market intelligence firm’s report, “Waste-to-Energy Technology Markets,” WTE systems will process at least 261 million tons of waste annually by 2022, with a total estimated output of 283 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity and heat generation, up from 221 TWh in 2010.
This compares with WTE’s current market share of 11 percent of the global municipal solid waste (MSW) stream of 2 billion tons in 2011. The research firm’s more optimistic scenario forecasts WTE to treat 396 million tons of MSW a year, producing 429 TWh of power.
Combustion technologies will continue to lead the market. But Pike expects advanced thermal treatment technologies such as pyrolysis and biological methods to increase worldwide.
“With many countries facing dramatic population growth, rapid urbanization, rising levels of affluence and resource scarcity, waste-to-energy is reestablishing itself as an attractive technology option to promote low carbon growth in the crowded renewable energy landscape,” says Pike Senior Analyst Mackinnon Lawrence.
Challenges to growth continue, however, with WTE needing high upfront capital costs and landfill fees being attractive financially by comparison.
The report analyzes WTE market opportunities in three key technology segments: combustion, gasification and anaerobic digestion.