The global waste to energy market is highly fragmented with a large number of small and local players. This gives the bigger companies an opportunity to increase their geographical reach and profit margins via mergers and acquisitions. A case in point is be Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. The company has signed a cooperation agreement with Shanghai Chengtou Holdings to generate revenue from the growing Chinese waste to energy market. Companies such as C&G Environmental Protection Holdings Limited are also entering into long term contracts with municipal governments, giving them stability for over two decades.
Another common strategy adopted by companies is the concentration on technological and project development. For instance, China Everbright International Limited focuses on updating the existing technology by undertaking R&D as a means to enable product innovation. Companies are also patenting their products to expand their share or diversifying their product portfolio to overcome the risk related to losses in a particular sector.
Need for Economical Energy Solutions Spurs Growth of Waste to Energy Market
Energy is used by the domestic, commercial, transport, and industrial sector. Thus, owing to increasing energy demands, companies are exploring various options to generate energy. Numerous technologies are being developed to make energy generation economically feasible. As such, waste to energy is a technology that makes use of municipality solid waste to produce energy, making it a highly economical solution to energy problems. Using waste to energy technology also resolves problems relating to space required for landfill or GHG emissions from open dump. Thus the demand for waste to energy is growing.
Another factor fueling the demand for waste to energy is the growing government support for such renewable projects that generate electricity. Government efforts to trim down the dependence on conventional sources of energy and protect the environment from harmful emissions are aiding the growth of the market.
High Initial Cost Presents a Hurdle for Adoption of Waste to Energy Technology
The cost of a waste to energy plant can range from US$110 mn to US$140 mn. The high initial cost of these plants is due to various essentials such as feedstock preprocessing equipment, storage, digester, and energy generator. The average anaerobic digestion project payback time is five to six years and it may take several years to get economic benefits out of municipal solid waste (MSW) plant. All these factors deter companies from adopting waste to energy technology.
Need to Improve Waste Disposal Practices and Reduce Landfills to Create Opportunity for Market
The growing population across the globe is resulting in an increase in the waste generation. As a consequence, there is an increase in the supply of feedstock for waste to energy plants. With the intent to improve waste disposal practices by reducing landfills and promoting waste to energy, densely populated countries such as India and China are expected to emerge as a boon for the market. Moreover, the rising disposable income levels of consumers in developing countries is directly proportional to an increase in the per capita waste generation.
According to the report, the global market opportunity in waste to energy will rise from US$23.44 bn in 2015 to US$31.89 bn in 2019. By technology, the thermal segment is expected to lead by 2019. Asia Pacific is expected to lead and account for 51.2% of the global waste to energy market by 2019.
This information is based on a report published by Transparency Market Research titled “Waste to Energy Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2013 - 2019.”
The global waste to energy market is segmented as follows:
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World (RoW)
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