Energy & EnvironmentEnvironmentEnvironment and climate report

Waste-to-energy continues to play a vital role in energy recovery

Events of the past year have sharply exposed the precariousness of Ireland’s security of energy supply, as oil and natural gas prices have skyrocketed. Simultaneously, the country is continuing to grapple with the challenge of reducing carbon emissions while striving to meet legally binding climate change targets and circular economy ambitions.

Against this backdrop, the waste-to-energy sector is continuing to play a vital role in the recovery of energy and valuable materials that cannot be reused or recycled from residual (black bin) waste.

The treatment of indigenous waste as a resource to generate energy, over 50 per cent of which is renewable, has the added benefit of enabling Ireland to reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels, ensuring a more secure and sustainable energy system. Energy is harnessed to reliably and sustainably generate 90MW of electricity that is delivering power to over 140,000 homes and business around the country.

In addition to generating electricity, valuable metals are recovered from the ash generated by the waste-to-energy process, most of which is then reused by the construction industry.
As the representative body for the waste-to-energy sector in Ireland, CEWEP is committed to supporting national policy objectives designed to enhance the State’s security of energy supply and the transition to a circular economy.

This involves highlighting how policy can be improved upon in order to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for the country and its citizens. Enhancing policy with respect to levies on waste recovery and disposal, national waste management planning, preventing the curtailment of electricity from the grid, and the position of waste-to-energy within net zero carbon and circularly economy strategies will be critical to this.

Currently, there are two waste-to-energy facilities in Ireland, located in Dublin and Meath, that are pursuing ambitious plans to ensure a better tomorrow. In the coming years, Dublin Waste-to-Energy in Poolbeg will act as the heat source for Dublin City Council’s planned district heating network, while Indaver’s facility in Meath is exploring how it can produce hydrogen from surplus energy it produces when curtailed from the electricity grid.

CEWEP Ireland believes that waste-to-energy offers massive untapped potential that can realise many positive outcomes, that we are committed to working towards with our stakeholders.


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