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European waste-to-energy market shows slow down

Throughout the world, there are almost 2,200 waste incineration plants. They have a disposal capacity of about 255 million tons of waste per year. By 2017, approximately 180 plants with a capacity of about 52 million annual tons will be constructed. Nevertheless, the waste to energy (WtE) market will slow down, especially in Europe. This is the result of a new study by ecoprog GmbH.

The worldwide WtE market will continue to grow until 2015, when approximately 45 incineration plants with a capacity of around 15 million annual tons will go on line. Afterwards, however, the growth will slow down, especially in Europe where the commissioning of new capacities will decrease from about 3.5 million annual tons in 2015 to less than 2 million annual tons in 2017.

The increasingly saturated British market will particularly decline in the future. Today, this market still is the main stimulus of growth in Europe. It compensated the industry when the development of incineration capacities in countries such as Germany or the Netherlands had stopped. After 2015/2016 at the latest, however, the demand from the United Kingdom can be expected to gradually slow down. By contrast, the number of WtE projects in Eastern Europe will increase; in the medium term, however, these markets will not lead to a new construction volume of the same extent.

Outside of Europe, China will remain the most important market in the years to come. Altogether, the demand from Europe and East Asia will continue to dominate the world market.