Focus Bioenergy No 6 2004: Waste - a source of energy of growing significance
We have to use the earth’s resources sparingly. Waste products that society generates can be recycled or used as a source of energy. Heat and electricity from waste combustion and biogas from digestion contribute some 8 TWh annually in Sweden. Waste stands for about 2 percent of used fuels in Swedish district heating. The importance of waste will rise rapidly in the near future. The potential for combustion of household waste and non-specific industrial waste is estimated to 16 TWh/year. Combustion is the most efficient and profitable way to extract energy from waste. Technology has improved significantly and emissions of harmful substances are now only a fraction of what they were in the 1980s. In Sweden, the amount of combusted waste has doubled since1985, while the energy extracted from waste has tripled.