Global WTE market was valued at USD 24 billion in 2012. A shift in focus towards replacing coal with renewable energy resources to reduce carbon footprints is expected to remain a key driving factor for the global WTE market. Increasing domestic and industrial waste has prompted governments across various regions to promote energy generation from waste. Favorable regulatory policies coupled with government support in the form of tax benefits and financial incentives have had a positive impact on the market, and this trend is expected to continue over the forecast period. Increasing environmental concerns regarding the use of non-renewable energy resources is expected to further complement the market growth. The growth of recycling industry across various developed markets such as U.S., Germany, Netherlands and Japan is expected to further drive the market. Companies have adopted WTE techniques to reduce their waste produced and parallelly generate captive energy. General Motors through its Renaissance Center recycles, reuses, and converts about five million tons of waste to generate energy by effectively diverting it from landfills. Methane gas emission from landfills due to waste decomposition is a key concern for using landfilling as a mean of waste management. The market has a high potential for growth since more than two-thirds of municipal solid waste generated is used for landfills.
Lack of awareness regarding WTE benefits particularly in developing economies of Central & North Africa is expected to inhibit the market growth. Various nations across these regions have adopted low-cost landfilling techniques to counter the waste generated through residential and industrial activities. Landfills are preferred owing to high installation costs associated with WTE technology. Increasing R&D with an aim to reduce/minimize installation costs of waste energy generation plants is expected to have a positive influence on the WTE market in these regions. Technological advancements in energy generation to improve the efficiency of energy yielded from waste is expected to act favorably for market participants.
Global waste to energy (WTE) market revenue by technology, 2012-2020 (USD Million)
Thermal and biological technologies are the most dominant methods used to generate energy from waste. Thermal technology is a widely used form of energy generation through waste. It's relatively simple process coupled with ease of operations is a major factor driving the thermal WTE technology growth. Health hazards associated with flue gasses emitted through thermal WTE generation has been a major concern for the market over the recent past. However, improvements such as flue gas desulfurization to reduce harmful gasses emitted are expected to counter the challenges faced by thermal technology in the market. Biological technologies are used for anaerobic decomposition of solid waste to generate energy. Biological technologies are expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to its market potential in developing markets.
Europe is a major regional WTE market. Growing importance to reduce industrial waste coupled with EU Waste Legislation regarding waste management is expected to act as a major factor driving the market growth in the region. Countries such as Germany, Austria and Netherlands have adopted WTE technologies to sustainably generate energy through industrial waste. Asia Pacific WTE market is primarily dominated by Japan, which uses almost 60% of its solid waste for incineration and consequently generates energy through it. The markets in China and India carry a huge potential for growth owing to increasing industrial and residential waste. Rapid industrialization coupled with growing importance for renewable energy generation is expected to drive the Asia Pacific WTE market over the forecast period.
Global WTE market is highly competitive in nature with companies vying for market leadership through technological advancements. Some of the major companies in the market include Foster Wheeler A.G., C&G Environmental Protection Holdings Ltd., Veolia Environment, Waste Management Inc., Suez Environment S.A., KEPPEL SEGHERS and The Babcock & Wilcox Co.
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