While projects in the sector – in Oslo and Copenhagen, to name a few - have been developing at a fast pace over the last few years, showing that the technology is mature, a comprehensive regulation at EU level is still missing in the successful implementation of CCUS in waste-to-energy plants, according to ESWET.
ESWET said: "The certification of carbon removals by the European Commission is a positive first step in the successful implementation of carbon capture,
storage and utilisation (CCUS) technologies in Europe. The specificities of all sectors, including Waste-to-Energy, should be taken into account so as to ensure the
achievement of the 2050 carbon-neutrality objectives."
It added: "For waste-to-energy, the integration of CCUS is an extra-step towards decarbonisation. Indeed, capturing and permanently storing biogenic CO 2 can 'enable
waste to be a net-zero or even net-negative emissions energy source', as acknowledged by the latest IPCC report (2022)."
To allow the Waste-to-Energy sector to fully contribute to the EU decarbonisation efforts, ESWET is calling for the carbon removal certification to: establish a clear legislative framework with no contradiction with other decarbonisation instruments; facilitate the access to EU funding for waste-to-energy to integrate carbon capture, especially for large-scale plants; and provide business case and financial incentive for removals of both fossil and biogenic CO2.
It added that a solid certification scheme would also enable the development of the full value chain, including carbon transport, storage and utilisation. Indeed, as more financial support is
needed to ensure the full-scale deployment of infrastructure in Europe and ensure the effectiveness of carbon removals, clear regulation will provide visibility to investors and facilitate new projects.