‘Billions of dollars wasted’ on waste to energy projects

Businesses promoting waste to energy projects have a 30-year track record of “failures and unfulfilled promises”. That’s according to a new risk assessment from GAIA, which claims the vast majority […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Businesses promoting waste to energy projects have a 30-year track record of “failures and unfulfilled promises”.

That’s according to a new risk assessment from GAIA, which claims the vast majority of proposed plants were never built or were shut down “after decades of industry promising a solution that both manages waste and produces energy”.

That has led to “billions of dollars” worth of investment being wasted in the UK, Australia, Canada, US and Germany.

GAIA is a worldwide alliance of more than 800 grassroots groups, non-governmental organisations and individuals in more than 90 countries.

It states the failed UK project by US-based Air Products lost $1 billion (£0.8bn) alone last year.

The report adds gasification projects that have attempted operations have closed after failure to meet projected energy generation, revenue generation and emission targets.

Others have failed in the proposal state, after raising significant investments, “due to community opposition and government scrutiny into false and exaggerated claims”.

Report Author Monica Wilson said: “The global spotlight on marine plastic pollution has led to increasing proposals for technological solutions. But it’s important that investors recognise these processes do not work as promised and set us back in developing real solutions.”

The report concludes municipal zero waste programmes relying on source separation, recycling, composting and redesign of no-value products have demonstrated economic and technical success.