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EU energy law threatens UK renewable targets

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

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