This new report, commissioned by Viridor, outlines a development pathway for carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology in the UK Energy from Waste (EfW) sector.

CCUS is a way of decarbonising fossil fuel processes through capturing and storing the CO2 produced, and is seen as a key part of achieving the government’s 2050 Net Zero target. Decarbonising the waste sector will be essential to reaching Net Zero, with CCUS providing a viable pathway to decarbonisation of EfW, alongside increased recycling and waste reduction and potential use of mixed waste sorting.

There are currently 48 operational EfW (incineration) facilities in the UK, with a further 16 under construction. These facilities are estimated to emit 11 million tonnes of CO2 per year, including non-fossil carbon.

The report finds that EfW is ideally placed to deploy CCUS technology, given the close proximity of the majority of EfW facilities to potential CCUS Clusters and port hubs that have access to offshore storage locations. Its deployment is also expected to be at least as cost-effective as other industrial sectors, with costs relating to EfW facilities within 30km of clusters as low as £66 per tonne of carbon. It could capture and permanently store 9.4 million tonnes of CO2 per annum by 2040, with the potential to lead to negative emissions as 50% of EfW CO2 emissions come from non-fossil carbon.

The report also looked at:

  • UK CCUS Policy and the development of the UK CCUS market;
  • Phasing of EfW CCUS development;
  • A summary of the costs of EfW with CCUS; and
  • Further benefits of EfW with CCUS.

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