Shortage of Waste Disposal to Drive the Need for Waste-to-Energy Plants in Europe

Date: October 11, 2006

Source: Frost & Sullivan

According to a new report by industry consultant Frost & Sullivan, Waste-to-Energy markets are in the midst of a renaisance in Europe where the market reached $1.8 billion in 2005 and is expected to reach $2.7 billion by 2010. Several factors have been cited: a shortage of landfill space and more aggressive landfill legislation against increasing waste volumes and rising energy prices are leading countries "to revisit waste management strategies and develop more cost-effective, sustainable solutions. The EU Landfill Directive, which sets targets for the reduction of landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) offers tremendous growth potential." The European market consists of some 400 waste-to-energy plants that process over 50 million tons of MSW per year. Frost & Sullivan expects to see 100 more plants installed by 2012.

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Waste-to-energy markets are experiencing enhanced political and environmental attention in Europe. An important component of integrated waste management strategies, waste-to-energy assists in waste incineration to relieve pressure on landfill and dispose waste that cannot be recycled. The add-on benefit of waste-to-energy plants is that energy generated is fed either back into the plant itself or to the local community.

Frost & Sullivan ( finds that the European Waste to Energy Plants Markets earned revenues of $1.8 billion in 2005 and estimates this to reach $2.7 billion in 2010.

"Amongst other factors, landfill legislation and increasing waste volumes are urging countries to revisit waste management strategies and develop more cost-effective, sustainable solutions," notes Frost & Sullivan's Energy and Environment Practice Director John Raspin. "The EU Landfill Directive, which sets targets for the reduction of landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) offers tremendous growth potential. This Directive, coupled with the short supply of new landfill void space in Europe, is driving alternative waste disposal strategies including waste-to-energy."

If BMW production continues to grow, increasing quantities will need to be diverted from landfill and consequently, waste-to-energy will be employed. In addition, increased production of refuse derived fuel (RDF) in countries such as Germany and shortfall in the capacity for disposing such pre-treated waste will create greater need for new waste-to-energy plants.

Currently, over 400 waste-to-energy plants in Europe process about 50 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per annum. However, as a result of the Landfill Directive, this number is likely to increase and over 100 plants or lines are expected to be installed by 2012.

Despite the benefits of the waste-to-energy technology, it has met with public opposition from environmental groups and local communities over the safety of waste incineration. This has hindered the implementation of new projects.

"The effects of emission on public health, increase in traffic and pollution associated with transporting waste for incineration are key concerns likely to hamper market expansion," states Mr. Raspin. "While the markets offer opportunities through high-value capital-intensive contracts and operational revenues, risks of project cancellation pose a significant challenge."

In view of long waiting periods involved in project planning and the risks of project cancellation, waste-to-energy suppliers will need to work closely with local communities and municipalities to promote projects. Moreover, with the rise in competition, the markets are witnessing an increasing number of mergers and acquisitions and competition is set to intensify.

However, significant opportunities exist for companies that can target and explore specific areas of growth. Strengthening product and financial positioning through consolidation, enhancing brand name and customer services, as well as meeting environmental demands of legislations and customers are some of the key factors that will influence market success.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview of the latest analysis of the European Waste to Energy Plants Markets, then send an e-mail to Chiara Carella - Corporate Communications at with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, e-mail address, city, and country. We will send you the information through email upon receipt of the above information.

European Waste to Energy Plants is part of the Environmental Subscription, which also includes research in the following markets: grate (mass burn) plants, fluidised bed plants, pyrolysis and gasification plants. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.

Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services, and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics. For more information, visit

European Waste to Energy Plants B748-15


Chiara Carella
Corporate Communications
Frost & Sullivan
DDI: 0044 (0) 207 3438314
FAX: 0044 (0) 207 7303343

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