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Waste-to-Energy Market

Waste-to-Energy Market: Information by Technology (Thermal, Biochemical, Others), and Region — Forecast till 2030

Published At : 19 Sep, 2022
Updated At : 20 Sep, 2022
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Market Snapshot
Base Year:
Study Period:
4.7 %
Fastest Growing Market:
Largest Market:

The global waste-to-energy market size was valued at USD 38,354.2 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 57987.32 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy from waste (EfW) is a process of energy recovery and generating energy in the form of heat or electricity from the primary treatment of waste. The majority of WtE processes either directly produce heat or electricity through thermal combustion or generate a combustible fuel commodity, such as methanol, methane, synthetic fuels, or ethanol.

The growth of the global waste-to-energy market is driven by an increase in demand for the incineration process and a rise in public WtE expenditure. Consumer preference for effective and easy WtE conversion procedures, such as incineration, gasification, pyrolysis, and biochemical treatments, including aerobic and anaerobic digestion, is likely to promote market expansion. However, the rising concerns about the environmental hazards associated with the incineration process are anticipated to affect the overall market growth.

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Market Dynamics

Global Waste-to-Energy Market Driving Factors

Increasing Demand for Renewable Sources of Energy

Some primary renewable energy sources are solar, geothermal, wind, bioenergy, hydropower, and ocean power. Currently, heating, power, cooling, and transportation all use renewable energy. Comparatively speaking, renewables are more expensive than fossil fuels. The most cost-competitive method is waste to energy (in terms of operating cost). The fundamental driver of market expansion is the rise in global temperatures caused by the combustion of fossil fuels, which emits carbon dioxide (CO2) into the environment. Due to the improvement in output efficiency, decreased pollution, and low maintenance costs of renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydro, governments of developed and developing nations have concentrated on promoting their use. More than 40% of the total electricity is produced using thermal energy.

Rising Demand for Electricity Consumption

There has been a sharp rise in power demand in recent years. Electronic goods that require energy have been made available as a result of technological breakthroughs for both household and commercial use. Additionally, rising consumer buying power and per capita disposable income drive demand for appliances like air conditioners, televisions, and refrigerators. The market has been growing due to significant investments in household and industrial buildings, airports, and railroads. Demand for domestic electrical appliances and living standards improve fuel market expansion. The rise of office buildings, retail and grocery stores, schools, hospitals, and industrial deployments has increased the demand for efficient energy sources, which is expected to boost the waste-to-energy industry.

Global Waste-to-Energy Market Restraining Factors

High Initial Costs and Less Investments

The cost of waste-to-energy production facilities is a primary issue throughout building and development. The installation and upkeep of infrastructure needed to produce electricity by burning garbage are significant obstacles limiting the market's expansion. Despite the cheap cost of fuel, the total cost is significantly increased by maintenance costs because this is a novel technology.

Governments are not inclined to invest significant resources because the initial expenses for building waste-to-energy facilities are substantially greater than those for any other traditional source of electricity, a crucial factor projected to impede the market's growth. Additionally, it is anticipated that a lack of manufacturers and an increase in the introduction of newer, less expensive solar and hydroelectricity technologies will limit the market growth.

Global Waste-to-Energy Market Opportunities

Upsurge in Energy Demand from the Asia-Pacific and Latin America Regions

The market for waste-to-energy is significantly impacted by the rise in worries about how to use the massive volumes of waste produced in various places. A surge in trash generation and government attempts to support appropriate waste utilization in these regions has led to high growth rates in Asia-Pacific and LAMEA nations, including China, India, Brazil, KSA, and others. Due to Japan's high level of technology penetration, the waste-to-energy sector is also at its mature stage. The importance of sustainable development, the necessity to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and the requirement for proportionally higher consumption of renewable resources have all become understood by the people of many nations in Asia-Pacific and LAMEA. The rise in industrialization, urbanization, and GDP in these regions are among the other factors contributing to the market's expansion.

Segmental Analysis

The global waste-to-energy market is segmented by technology.

Based on technology, the global waste-to-energy market is bifurcated into thermal, biochemical, and others.

The thermal segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period. The thermal method uses high-temperature recycling of MSW energy. The term "thermal technology" refers to various techniques, including pyrolysis, gasification, and combustion or incineration. The main differences between these technologies are the amount of oxygen and temperature involved throughout the process that results in the conversion to ultimate products, CO2 and water, or intermediate usable compounds. MSW dry matter is a suitable waste to use as feedstock in this procedure. Additionally, the lack of landfills is anticipated to fuel the market's expansion for waste-to-energy during the expected time frame. There is a surge in the need for thermal gasification in the energy production of waste materials due to the increased demand for clean energy globally.

Incineration is the most popular method for converting waste to energy. The organic elements in the trash are burned during this waste treatment procedure. This process can lower the total volume of the original garbage by between 95 and 96%, depending on the type of waste and the extent to which it is recycled (for example, the amount of metals extracted from ash to be recycled). Incinerators, which can be moving grates, rotating kilns, fluidized beds, and others, are utilized to burn waste materials, producing ash, flue gas, and heat. There has been a rise in the need for thermal incineration equipment due to the fact that incinerators can process both synthetic and organic waste. Consequently, the market for converting trash into energy grows in the surrounding areas.

In the gasification process, carbonaceous materials are converted into energy-rich gas. This method has several advantages, including better overall efficiency, high-quality gaseous outputs of solid residues, and reasonably affordable facility expenses. The increased need for clean energy worldwide is a significant factor in the demand for gasification in the energy-generating process using waste materials. One of the key variables influencing the gasification waste-to-energy market is the best possible use of the energy produced during the gasification process.

Refused Derived Fuel (RDF), Hydrothermal Carbonization, and Dendro Liquid Energy (DLE) are other technologies in the waste-to-energy sector. These are cutting-edge technologies in the North American waste-to-energy conversion market. Making trash into electricity is more effective and less expensive than anaerobic digestion. Fuel made from municipal solid waste (MSW), industrial waste, and other wastes is rejected derived fuel. RDF is the procedure used to prepare MSW for thermal incineration to produce enough thermal energy. During the projected period, this may represent a market opportunity for waste-to-energy in the United States and Canada. Western Canada's Refused Derived Fuel (RDF) production unit, run by the City of Edmonton, creates feedstock for Enerkem's gasification plant, which makes biofuels.

Regional Analysis

Europe Dominates the Global Market

The global waste-to-energy market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

Waste-to-Energy Market Regional Analysis

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Europe is the largest shareholder in the global waste-to-energy market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period. Europe dominates the waste-to-energy industry, and this trend is projected to persist during the forecast period. The need for waste-to-energy in Europe is being driven by increased attempts to reduce greenhouse emissions, attain low carbon footprints, and ensure a steady electricity supply due to the depletion of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. The development of the European market is predicted to be supported by a stable legislative environment, increased waste-to-energy industry access to financing, cost-effective grid investment and connectivity, ongoing support for innovation and training, and enhanced cost-saving synergies.

Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8%, generating USD 17,752.2 million during the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific waste-to-energy market is nascent, owing to the high demand for renewable energy. In 2019 Japan led the regional market, and it is projected to continue to do so during the projection period. India, South Korea, and China are some other economies continuously expanding in this market. Due to the growing usage of thermal technology for energy production, the thermal category had the most significant volume in the Asia-Pacific waste-to-energy market. The biochemical segment is anticipated to expand significantly throughout the projected period due to growing environmental concerns about pollution. As a result, it is anticipated that demand for biochemical technology will rise shortly.

North America is a developed region with high demand for various energy resources. However, it is projected that rising pollution levels and the depletion of fossil fuels would reduce investment in fossil fuel power generation and promote the use of various renewable energy sources, including waste-to-energy. Additionally, the region's abundance of industries produces a lot of hazardous, agricultural, and industrial pollutants. People who live in the residential areas of industrialized countries like the United States and Canada and who work in commercial spaces are producing much more municipal solid waste (MSW), which is then disposed of in landfills or burned to produce energy. This regional market is anticipated to experience rapid expansion as pressure to conserve energy grows.

Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of LAMEA all have implemented several greenhouse gas legislation. It is anticipated that these laws will increase the demand for renewable energy. The need for various renewable energy sources, including waste-to-energy, is primarily driven by the rise in electricity prices, surge in energy demand coupled with the shrinkage of Middle Eastern oil fields, rise in awareness of the social and environmental dangers of poor waste management, and global focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Waste-to-energy technology is likely to become significantly more necessary as energy consumption rises.

List of Key Players

List of key waste-to-energy market companies profiled

  • Abu Dhabi National Energy Company Pjsc (Taqa)
  • John Wood Group Plc
  • Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc.
  • C&G Ltd.
  • China Everbright International Limited
  • Covanta Holding Corporation
  • Suez
  • Veolia
  • Waste Management Inc.
  • Cnim
  • Bluefire Renewables
  • Ener-Core Inc.
  • Plasco Energy Group Inc.
  • Wheelabrator Technologies Inc.

Recent Developments

  • February 2022 - Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) announced its B&W Renewable business segment had been awarded a contract for approximately USD 22 million to design and supply advanced waste-to-energy technology to help a power producer in Asia reduce its reliance on coal and decrease the amount of waste sent to landfills.
  • March 2022 - Covanta, a world leader in sustainable waste and energy solutions, announced that it had increased its ownership stake in Covanta Green UK Limited, Covanta Green Jersey Assets Limited, and Covanta Green Protos Holding Limited, which hold ownership stakes across four Waste-to-Energy facilities in the UK, through EQT Infrastructure’s acquisition of Green Investment Group’s (“GIG”) 50% stake in those entities. The purchase price and follow-on equity requirements to finalize construction will be funded by EQT Infrastructure.

Global Waste-to-Energy Market: Segmentation

By Technology

  • Thermal
  • Biochemical
  • Others

By Regions

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
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