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Panel will discuss treating waste as a resource, not a problem

Want to learn more about the latest innovations for turning trash into fuel? Then mark your calendars for ecoConnect’s next “Green in the City” event, which will focus on “Waste to Energy.”

The programme is scheduled for 6 to 9 pm Wednesday, 24 February, at Denton Wilde Sapte LLP in London. Advance registration is required and a discount fee of £20 is offered to those who register by Friday, 5 February. Regular registration is £25.

Green in the City, presented by ecoConnect in partnership with Cleantech magazine,  is now in its second year and has rapidly become London’s flagship cleantech event.  The evening events bring together opinion leaders, entrepreneurs, leading innovators and top funding executives in the cleantech market.

This month’s programme will feature a discussion moderated by Anne McIvor, editor of Cleantech magazine. Panelists include Samantha Fuller, waste-to-energy development manager for Scottish and Southern Energy; John Gibbs, corporate finance partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers; Peter T Jones OBE, waste advisor to the City of London; Matt Taylor, a partner at Foresight Group; and Stephen Shergold, head of the environment & safety team at Denton Wilde Sapte.

Chairing the discussion will be Robert Hokin, chief executive of ecoConnect.

The panel will discuss the current challenges of building the waste-to-energy sector in the UK.

The UK currently produces over 300 million tonnes of waste per year. EU legislation mandates a 50-per cent reduction in the volumes of waste being buried in landfill sites by 2013 … but recycling can only deal with a fraction of this waste. Energy from Waste (EfW) offers a solution.

However, today’s regulatory environment is not conducive to investment. The Institute of Mechanical Engineers argues that UK legislation has focused on waste “as a problem and not a resource,” dealing with an EfW plant “as if it were an incinerator, rather than a power station.”

Among the questions the Green in the City panel will tackle:

  • How could the UK regulatory framework evolve to encourage investment in waste-to-energy projects?
  • Which technologies are most appropriate for the UK: combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion?
  • Financing large scale vs. smaller scale projects: Is there a growing role for smaller anaerobic digestion installations?
  • What is the role of established practices such as landfill gas for electricity; and new technologies to generate liquefied natural gas from landfill methane?
  • What is the best solution for waste biomass from agriculture/forestry and are there opportunities for biomass co-firing/production of cellulosic ethanol for vehicle fuels?
  • What is the role of niche technologies such as rubber recycling?

1 Comment

  • Alex MM
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Just to fuel the discussion: in a recent essay (, Professor Williams notes, “we have the options of accelerating the development of Zero Waste concepts, creating better sustainable technologies, and facilitating better geographical spread of these technologies, but this needs investment”…

Comments are closed.

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