Increasing municipal solid waste (MSW) in the fast-growing cities of the developing and emerging countries has resulted in rising public concern pertaining to the subsequent health and environmental impacts. At present, the waste of about 3 billion people, that is, approximately 70% of MSW, still ends up on landfills or uncontrolled dumpsites, which often contaminate surface water, ground water, or soil, and emit greenhouse gases. Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is gaining importance on the local political agenda, as citizens and decision makers have become more sensitive to environmental pollution and its impact on the quality of life.
Waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies are being presented as an attractive option, to solve not only the pressing waste disposal problems but also several other challenges, simultaneously, including shortages in power generation, limited space for landfills, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from inappropriate waste disposal. However, the introduction of WtE technologies is often jeopardized, due to missing tariff systems to fund investments,operation costs, weak enforcement of environmental laws, and limited qualified staff to run the installed systems in an effective and efficient manner.
The increasing use of renewable energy sources, rising quantity of global waste generation, waste management regulations, taxes and subsidies, climate change policies to curb GHG emissions, and technological advancements are some of the major factors driving the global waste-to-energy market. The recent global trends, such as environmental degradation, green business models, and improved public perception of waste-to-energy are the other factors that are expected to influence the market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is the Fastest-growing Segment
Asia-Pacific has the fastest-growing population in the world, and has recorded a growth of about 25-30% over the past two decades. By 2050, the urban population in Asia-Pacific is expected to account for more than 50% of the total regional population. Globally, more than 10 billion metric ton of solid waste is generated annually, from urban households, commercial activities, industries, and construction, of which Asia-Pacific accounts for approximately 20-25%. This share is projected to increase to over 50% of the global solid waste production by 2030.
Asia-Pacific is dealing with complex waste streams, including e-waste, food waste, construction and demolition (C&D) waste, disaster waste, and marine litter. Owing to the presence of some of the most populous nations of the world, such as China and India, the region is one of the largest generators of municipal solid waste in the world. These countries are among the top five e-waste generating countries globally. Therefore, owing to the major expansions in China and India, coupled with increasing government initiatives to promote sustainable energy generation, the region is expected to offer significant growth potential during the forecast period.
Argentina to offer Considerable Potential for Waste-to-Energy Plants and Services
The coverage of waste management services is quite high in Argentina, encompassing approximately 89% of the population, while the nation boasts a trash collection rate of 99.8%. The metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, one of the most populous places in Argentina, generates over 16,000 metric ton of waste every day. Most of the recovered waste is disposed of in sanitary landfills. Out of the four sanitary landfills created by the Coordinadora Ecológica Área Metropolitana Sociedad del Estados (CEAMSE), one has already been closed, and two more are scheduled for closure in the near future. The situation needs to be addressed with an amicable solution, which has to be selected from new waste management alternatives, one of which is energy recovery. Therefore, there is considerable potential in the country for the waste-to-energy plants and services, as the capacities of landfills are limited.
Key Developments in the Market
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