UK waste can supply half renewables energy target by 2020

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A study finds UK energy-from-waste can contribute up to 50 percent of the UK renewable energy target by 2020.

An award-winning study concludes that energy-from-waste (EfW) technologies can contribute up to 50 percent of the UK renewable energy target by 2020. It states that this will depend on the pace of investment and availability of suitable feedstock. The study won the first Geotech Bursary / CIWM Award.

Biomethane Benefit
This research study by Cranfield graduate, Kofi Apea Adu-Gyamfi, considers the development of energy from waste (EfW) technologies and their potential contribution to the UK’s renewable energy targets. The study identifies the use of biomethane as road transport fuel and small-scale EfW deployment at community level as applications with huge potential benefits for the UK. These two options are easily implementable and could provide substantial savings in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. His study concludes that, depending on the pace of investment and availability of suitable feedstock, EfW technologies can contribute up to 50 percent of UK renewables target by 2020. The full paper can be downloaded from

Landfill Limit
The study notes the UK’s traditional use of landfill as the main method of waste disposal and management. However, landfilling is unsustainable due to its harmful effects on the environment and public health. Under the European Union (EU) Landfill Directive, member nations are now required to divert biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) from landfills.

The UK has also committed to the EU Renewable Energy Directive, which binds it to sourcing at least 15 percent of its energy mix from renewables by 2020. To meet these targets, the UK has to support alternative waste management options whilst achieving considerable deployment of renewables.

Winning Ways

The paper was completed by Kofi Apea Adu-Gyamfi while at Cranfield having had his proposal for a paper selected as the first winner of the Geotech Bursary / CIWM Award. Sponsored by Geotech and run as part of the CIWM’s Professional Awards programme, the paper was presented at a recent CIWM awards ceremony. The next CIWM Professional Awards ceremony is on 20th October 2010 at Lord’s Cricket Ground. There, the second winning paper on ‘The Future Roles of Landfill Gas and Biogas’ to win the Geotech Bursary will be presented. The Geotech Bursary / CIWM Award is open to all, internationally.


Geotech Press Contact: Mike Heath,
T: 01926 864834, M: 07831 198889, mike.heath3[at]btinternet[dot]com

Geotech, Sovereign House, Queensway, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 3JR
Tel: +44 (0)1926 338111

CIWM is The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, 9 Saxon Court, St Peter’s Gardens, Northampton, NN1 1SX Tel: + 44 (0)1604 620426 Contact: Claire Poole

The Paper was submitted as:

Renewable Energy, Landfill Gas and EfW: Now, Next and Future
K A Adu-Gyamfia, R Villa and F Coulon,
Cranfield University, Centre for Resource Management and Efficiency, Sustainable Systems Department, School of Applied Sciences, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, UK

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