Waste to Energy facilities treat waste that cannot be prevented, reused or recycled and treat polluted substances in an environmentally sound way to recover renewable energy. As the feedstock is partly biogenic in origin, this energy is categorised as renewable under the Renewable Energy Directive. The ratio between renewable and non-renewable depends on the composition of the waste input.

EUROPEAN ENERGY POLICY – Clean Energy Package 

The EU’s Clean Energy Package comprised of 8 legislative acts and legislated for the following key targets by 2030: 

  • At least 40% cuts in GHG emissions (from 1990 levels)
  • At least 32% share for renewable energy
  • At least 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency

While these targets will likely be subject to review in the coming years, the revised Renewable Energy Directive currently has an EU wide target of at least 32%. Member States have to report their progress in closing the gap to meeting EU mandated targets through National Energy and Climate Plans. These plans set out the proposed measures to meet these targets.

IRISH ENERGY POLICY – Climate Action Plan

In Ireland, Waste to Energy is currently contributing to Ireland’s renewable electricity targets, with the potential to decarbonise both heat and transport. These include:

  • The production of low-carbon heating through district heating/heat network;
  • The decarbonisation of the gas network through the injection of hydrogen produced at our members’ facilities;
  • The use of hydrogen in transport.

The Government’s Climate Action Plan sets out 180 measures for Ireland to meet its EU and international climate reduction obligation. Waste to Energy has an important role to play in realising a number of energy related objectives, including:

  • Providing renewable electricity to contribute to the commitment that 70% of Ireland’s electricity needs will come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
  • The provision of low-carbon heat through heat networks to assist with the goal to decarbonise heating through the development of district heating and renewable heat projects.
  • The potential to produce hydrogen in order to decarbonise the gas network through grid injection or to decarbonise the transport sector by providing hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.