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Veolia: Can new Recycling Energy Recovery Facility deliver on Defra aspirations?

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Veolia agree with UK government proposals to build on energy diversity, utilising large quantities of waste heat in combined heat and power (CHP)

Last week the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published its updated ‘Energy from Waste: a guide to the debate’ outlining a desire to see more ‘high efficiency’ energy from waste (EfW) plants producing both energy and heat.*

The government proposes utilising large quantities of waste heat in combined heat and power (CHP) applications, and Veolia agree that this is vital to the future energy diversity and stability of the UK economy. More importantly this will play a key role part in keeping the lights on.

Veolia already operate two important CHP facilities in Sheffield and in London and its proposed facility in Hertfordshire, which is awaiting planning approval, could provide a further 20MWth of heat – enough for 60,000MWh per year to heat the equivalent of 4,000 local homes. Local businesses can profit as well with options for 4-5MW of electricity and heat supplies underpinning local jobs by making industry more sustainable.

The benefits of such schemes are wide and decentralise energy supplies providing cost-effective power and heat to local communities and business.

Clear industry evidence identifies that we are lacking in current waste to energy infrastructure and there is a clear need to invest now for the future. If approved, the proposed Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) in Hertfordshire will generate sufficient power to the National Grid through the energy recovery process to power around 50,000 Hertfordshire homes and save the local authority around £667m, but whilst it is delayed those savings are being lost, waste continues to be sent to disposal or recovery facilities outside the county and we are unable to use the waste as a source to heat local homes.

Veolia’s Executive Director, Robert Hunt commented “The current planning system appears neither business nor community friendly since it is not delivering the infrastructure we all need to ensure the UK prospers with an economy that will add value to the majority.”

“However, the good news is that we do have a solution available now through projects such as the Hertfordshire RERF and in terms of energy provision it is certainly more cost-effective than what we do today!”

“Sheffield is a good example of a successful CHP project from an innovative and proactive company such as Veolia. Local schemes across Sheffield now utilise 40MWth of waste heat from Veolia’s Energy Recovery Facility to heat the city, cool the sports centre and reduce reliance on the use of fossil fuels.”

“The question is will other projects like the one proposed for Hertfordshire be able to deliver on similar aspirations?”

Veolia Environmental Services

Veolia Environmental Services, part of the Veolia Environment Group, is the UK’s leading waste management company. With a sizeable presence throughout the UK, mainland Europe and the world, Veolia Environmental Services employs over 77,000 people in 33 countries and serves more than 800,000 business clients worldwide. Veolia Environmental Services is the only global provider of a full range of services for handling hazardous and non-hazardous solid and liquid waste. It provides waste management and logistics services as well as materials recovery and recycling. Veolia Environmental Services generated revenue of €9.08 billion in 2012.

We are committed to protecting the environment and improving the lives of the communities in which we operate and have been awarded Platinum Rating in Business in the Community’s Corporate Responsibility Index for 2013.

Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) is the worldwide reference in environmental services. The company has operations all around the world and provides tailored solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in three complementary segments: water management, waste management and energy management. Veolia Environnement recorded revenue of €29.4 billion in 2012.

Source: Veolia

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