BRITAIN RUNS the risk of missing its renewable energy targets because European islation discourages electricity suppliers from sourcing power from burning waste, the ICE warned this week.
It called for a change in the Renewables Obligation set out under the 1989 Electricity Act.
This says that 20% of electricity must come from renewable sources by 2020.
The Act says that heat from incinerated residual waste left after recycled and composted material is removed is not a renewable energy source. So electricity suppliers are reluctant to use this waste as a fuel.
The views were aired in a joint ICE and Renewable Power Association report published today.
The problem is currently being tackled by waste ntractor Shanks, which is building a Mechanical Biological treatment plant (see box).
The plant's non-recyclable end product, or Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF), could be sold to power stations as fuel.
But Shanks lacks a buyer for the fuel - although it is negotiating deals with cement manufacturers and power stations.
'If we're unlucky we'll have to landfi ll it, ' said Shanks managing director Allan Barton.
Shanks major projects director Phillip Cozens said he hoped the Obligations would be changed to include burning SRF as a renewable energy source.
The Department of Trade & Industry is consulting on whether a wider range of energy from waste technologies should be included under the Renewable Obligation.
Energy from burning SRF has been described as the 'optimum energy recovery process' in the ICE-RPA report. It says the process could contribute up to 17% of electricity by 2020.
The report, Quantification of the Potential Energy from Residuals in the UK, says: 'A lack of such end markets for SRF is currently holding back investment in this technology-. . In the short term, energy recovery from residual waste will inevitably fall well short of the potential maximum yields'.
INFOPLUS To view the report visit www. nceplus. co. uk