Energy efficiency during waste incineration processes
All municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration plants utilize the heat arising when the waste is burnt to generate energy. In accordance with the biomass fraction in the municipal solid waste, 50% of this energy is considered renewable. The MSWs deliver around 2% of the total energy in Switzerland. Thus they deliver the largest share of electricity generated from renewable sources in Switzerland, after hydropower.
In recent years energy production from MSW incineration has been growing slightly more rapidly than the quantity of wastes incinerated. This means that the energy efficiency has been improved. This can be attributed to the fact that old MSWs have been replaced by technically improved and more efficient facilities which are considerably more energy efficient. With higher energy exploitation in the MSWs, fossil fuels such as heating oil can be replaced. The Swiss mean of 68% corresponds to the EU regulations for biomass power plants, which have to fulfil stricter requirements than simple MSWs. For this reason the status is rated positive. As a stimulus to further optimisation measures the MSWs have instigated the so-called MSW Charter which honours particularly energy- and resource-efficient plants. Further improvements can be expected.
The Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP) publishes the relevant data for MSWs within Europe. For purposes of comparison the efficiency rate has to be converted, since the CEWEP formula weights electricity production, because of the higher energy content of electricity, more heavily than heat production. By comparison with countries sharing a similar standard of living (Europe) Switzerland scores highly, that is, the energy efficiency of the MSWs is comparatively high.
The data for energy production are surveyed among the operators of MSW incineration plants. Energy efficiency means the percentage of energy produced compared to the energy input - as high a percentage as possible of generated energy is desirable. The following parameters are key to the calculation of energy efficiency: - Energy input: energy from waste and auxiliary boiler - Electricity generated: can be determined by measurement. The energy sold and in-plant consumption can be determined precisely. Because of the higher energy of electricity compared to heat, the quantity of electricity is multiplied by a factor of 2.6. - Heat produced: is only measured in those MSW incineration plants that sell thermal energy. Since 2014, energy efficiency has been reported as net energy efficiency, where only the energy used outside the MSW incineration plant is taken into account, but not in-plant consumption.
|Targeted trend||Initial value||Final value||Variation in %||Observed trend||Assessment|
|Growth||Average 1990-1992||Average 2016-2018||40.69%||Growth||positive|