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05.06.2007 » Pressrelease » General
UK companies look to tap power potential of landfill sites in India

UK companies are looking at partnering with their Indian counterparts in solid waste management, particularly in sharing technology expertise related to landfills. A select group of UK companies showcased their expertise in this field during a one-day seminar recently organised jointly by the Indian Environmental Association (IEA) and the Environmental Industries Sector Unit (EISU), a UK Government unit responsible for promoting the UK’s environmental industry overseas. Company representatives made presentations on various aspects of solid waste management like landfill design & operations, landfill gas collection, gas-to-energy projects, carbon trading, recycling of waste electronic & electrical equipment and in offering monitoring & control instrumentation. Giving details about the industry in UK, Mr. Colin Drummond, Chairman of UK’s Environment Sector Advisory Group informed that the UK waste management industry comprised 3,000 companies and was valued at £8-bn. “We have a vibrant waste management sector,” he said and added that landfills dominated the solid waste management scene in UK.
Waste management and renewable energy in tandem According to experts, one of the major problems plaguing landfills is the emission of methane gas. “Methane from waste is a huge source of atmospheric methane throughout the world and in the UK it is the largest contributor,” informed Ms. Zaneta Whitworth, Business Development Manager, Biogas Technology Ltd. Methane venting to the atmosphere is 21 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. UK companies have tried to address this problem in a novel way – by using the greenhouse gas to generate electricity. “By doing this we have a double gain,’ said
Mr. Drummond. “We are protecting the environment and at the same time we are generating a large amount of renewable energy,” he added. The UK Government is looking at huge investments of over £30-bn for setting up new waste facilities. “The Government and the industry is working together to fund this big investment programme. In the UK it has become a very attractive business to invest in,” observed Mr. Drummond. 10% of power from renewables by 2010
According to Ms. Whitworth, the UK Government is looking at a target of achieving 10% of its power production from renewable sources by 2010, increasing year-onyear to 15% by 2015. Incentives given by the UK Government for development of renewable energy has more than doubled over the last four years, said Mr. Drummond. As a result, a vast majority of all landfill gas in UK is captured and used beneficially to generate electricity. Power from landfill gas is estimated to account for almost 30% of UK’s total renewable energy generation. Moreover, Mr. Drummond noted that the cost of
power generated from landfill gas at £25 per MWhr was the lowest cost renewable energy in the UK.

CDM potential
While talking about the CDM potential of the landfills, Ms. Whitworth said that as of January 2007, out of 489 registered projects, only 32 were landfill gas projects, and of the 142 projects where CERs have been issued only six are landfill gas projects. Earlier, speaking about the solid waste management scenario in India, Mr. Yogin Parikh, President, IEA said that there was almost no legislation in India for collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste until the Supreme Court intervened in 2000. He discussed the existing regulations and standards in municipal solid waste and biomedical waste, but lamented the fact that very little work was being done to comply with the standards set.

Biogas Technology Limited

Phone: +44 (0)1487 831 701

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