The role of EfW in delivering a net zero future

17 March 2022

It’s day two (2) of WMRR’s 2022 Energy from Waste conference and this morning, delegates heard from the Hon Tim Wilson MP, Assistant Minister for Industry, Energy and Energy Reduction, who pointed to the need for progressive transformation of the economy to manage climate change.

There is room for progress, the Minister said, noting that collectively, we have to find ways to harness capital and capture lost opportunities in waste management and resource recovery (WARR) to not only save the planet, but to make a buck at the same time.

“Innovation in WARR and changes to the WARR landscape will create new opportunities with other industries to innovate, create new jobs, build resilience, and solve the challenge of resource scarcity,” the Minister said, adding, “Energy from waste can also contribute to energy security and drive our efforts to decarbonise.”

The WARR sector’s role in Australia’s decarbonisation efforts is the focus of this morning’s program, with a keynote presentation about EfW’s contribution to the circular economy and long-term greenhouse gas emissions reductions, followed by a panel discussion on the role of EfW in delivering a net zero future.

“To reach net zero by 2050 as per the Paris agreement, we need a paradigm shift globally in how we produce and consume resources, including energy. EfW being a partially renewable source can play a part in replacing traditional sources of power, such as coal, and doing so will reduce carbon emissions,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said.

“EfW also uses residual waste that would otherwise be disposed of in landfill and this shift from landfill to EfW will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including methane.

“Ultimately, a concerted effort is required across the entire supply chain in order to move towards both a circular and low carbon economy, and the role of EfW in a WARR ecosystem that prioritises material management in accordance with the waste hierarchy, should not be understated. It is not a silver bullet – there simply isn’t one – but an important tool to complement resource recovery and recycling that will contribute to our efforts to mitigate climate change,” Ms Sloan said.

WMRR’s  2022 EfW conference is currently being held at ZINC – Federation Square in Melbourne. Find out about WMRR’s forthcoming events here.