R1 Climate Correction Factor for Waste to Energy Plants Finally Agreed

Hubert de Chefdebien (pictured) and Guillaume Perron-Piché of the European Suppliers of Waste to Energy Technology discuss the latest developments to the R1 Formula enacted by the Commission and Member States on 17 November 2014… After six years of studies and discussions, the European Commission has finally gotten a favourable vote from Member States on its proposal for an R1 Formula Climate Correction Factor. This criterion, defined in the Waste Framework Directive from 2008 (2008/98/EC), determines whether a Waste-to-Energy plant performs a “Recovery operation” (hence Recovery 1 – R1) or a “Disposal operation” (hence Disposal 10 – D10). Much more ambitious than conventional energy efficiency formulas, the R1 criterion does not only look at the plant’s ability to recover the energy contained in waste, it also examines the effective use of this energy, whether it is by third parties or in the plant itself. The R1 Formula is tilted in favour of using the energy as heat rather than as electricity. It is therefore easier for plants located in cold regions to reach high R1 levels than those in warm areas. The discussion was heavily influenced by “market” considerations. The Transboundary Shipment of Waste Regulation allows Member States, both at the emitting and receiving ends of the shipment, to oppose shipments destined for “Disposal operations” while it is nearly impossible to oppose shipments to plants performing a “Recovery operation”. The Commission came up with a political compromise that, it concedes, is far from compensating the real effect that warm ambient air has on electrical production efficiency and especially on the lower demand for heat. It is a concern that the R1, already more challenging for new (0.65 threshold to reach) than for existing plants (0.60), is now complemented by a Factor that will be reduced after 15 years for existing plants while climate is rather warming. It is also a pity that the Factor is not modulated according to the capacity of the plant as the R1 status is in general more difficult to reach for small plants than for large ones. Still, the Factor enacted by the Commission and Member States on 17 November 2014 recognises the extra challenge that installations in warm areas are facing and partially alleviates this imbalance, enabling them to get a bit closer to reaching the ambitious level set by the R1 Formula, which would otherwise have remained beyond their reach. Hubert de Chefdebien, head of institutional relations at in CNIM and chairman of the Technical Committee of ESWET, and Guillaume Perron-Piché, policy officer at ESWET - the European Suppliers of Waste to Energy Technology, which actively worked at elaborating this Climate Factor. Read More Analysis: Waste to Energy Gaining Ground in Canadian Opinion Polls John Foden, President of the Canadian Resource Recovery Council, explains the importance of the results from a recent poll on the issue of waste to energy, and gives insight into the future of waste management in Canada… California vs. Big Plastic – Don’t Ditch the Plastic Bag Ban Mark Murray of California vs. Big Plastic shares his thoughts on the plastic bag industry turning in signatures to the California Secretary of State today seeking to force a referendum on the state’s ban recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown… New Year, New UK Recycling Regulations? Chris Dow, CEO, Closed Loop Recycling, explains why UK politicians should seize the initiative and lay the foundations for a circular economy with updated recycling regulations sooner rather than later.