2nd October 2009
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is taking the first step in identifying the next generation of high efficiency technologies to generate low carbon energy from waste.
Generating more energy from a wider variety of waste will reduce the amount of material sent to landfill sites, produce electricity and heat more locally and reduce CO2 emissions.
Energy from waste represents an opportunity to produce clean, renewable energy from local sources that were previously destined for landfill sites.
It is currently estimated that around100 million tonnes of waste produced each year could be converted to energy. Effective conversion of this waste has the potential to supply up to 4% of the UK’s electricity, space and water heating requirements, forming an important part of the UK’s energy future. Successful conversion of energy from waste within the UK that cannot be reused or recycled has the opportunity to redefine a worldwide problem into a global energy solution.
A consortium led by Caterpillar and also involving EDF Energy, Cranfield University, CPI Innovation Services and Shanks Waste Management has been set up to carry out the work.
ETI Chief Executive Dr David Clarke said: “Local generation of energy will play a key part in achieving climate change goals. There is considerable potential for generating clean energy from waste and many local authorities are looking to invest in energy from waste technology. The challenge is that many existing facilities that create energy from waste are limited to specific waste streams, and there is a need to improve the current approach and flexibility of available technologies to encourage wider uptake. This study will map and characterise the waste produced in the UK, and will identify technology development opportunities to generate clean energy.”
Caterpillar Research Director, John Amdall, said: “Caterpillar is excited to work with a leading-edge consortium to identify efficient, flexible energy from waste systems. We believe waste represents a significant opportunity to exploit a resource for the UK and the international community, while supporting the development of clean, secure, and cost effective energy.”
The project team will assess the energy content of waste created across the country, evaluate the existing technologies and improvements to generate energy from waste.
It will assess the potential key benefits from these developments including reduced CO2 emissions, increased affordability and a secure, local supply of fuel.
The Energy Technologies Institute is an innovative partnership between global industrial companies and the UK government which encourages the sharing of expertise and resources to speed up the development and demonstration of energy technologies and shorten lead times to market.
The ETI bridges the gulf between laboratory proven technologies and full-scale commercially tested systems with the goal of overcoming major barriers to the deployment of low carbon technology.
The project is the first to be announced under the ETI’s Distributed Energy Programme.
Notes to editors
The consortium is led by Caterpillar, a world leader in distributed power, and includes EDF Energy, one of the largest UK energy companies, Cranfield University, a premier applied research institution, CPI Innovation Services, an industrial process and innovation company, and Shanks Waste Management, the largest independent waste operator in the UK.
The Energy Technologies Institute is a UK based company formed from global industries and the UK Government. The ETI brings together projects and partnerships that create affordable, reliable, clean energy for heat, power and transport.
The ETI’s six private members are BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell. The UK Government has committed to match support for four further Members. The ETI’s public funds are received from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills through the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). These organisations, together with the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), are engaged directly in the ETI’s strategy and programme development.
The ETI will demonstrate technologies, develop knowledge, skills and supply-chains, inform the development of regulation, standards and policy, and so accelerate the deployment of affordable, secure low-carbon energy systems from 2020 to 2050.
About the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI): Plans for the ETI were first revealed in the 2006 Budget by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. It operates as a 50:50 public/private partnership. The ETI is based at Loughborough University Science Park and hosted by a consortium comprising Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham Universities.
In selecting projects for funding, the ETI aims to achieve a number of key objectives, including demonstrating energy technologies and systems, improving energy usage, efficiency, supply and generation and developing knowledge, and supply chains.