29 October 2019 by Caelia Quinault

Veolia hails ‘twice as efficient’ EfW

Energy from waste facilities can be twice as efficient as conventional power plants and could help the UK to avoid an impending ‘energy crisis’.

The South East London Combined Heat and Power plant (SELCHP) produces both heat and electricity

That is the message from recycling and energy giant Veolia which this week (October 28) launched a report entitled ‘Keeping the Lights on: Operating without fossil fuels’.

Introducing the report, Veolia claims that more than 68% of energy managers are concerned about the reliability and security of their energy supply, with half of the senior decision-makers believing the UK is heading towards an ‘energy crisis’.

And, as a means of securing a future renewable energy supply, the company said that its energy operations provided on-site generation using renewable and low carbon technologies that could be “twice as efficient as conventional power stations.”

Pointing to energy-from-waste in particular, the company added: “This includes transforming sewage, food waste, non-recyclable household waste and waste wood into renewable heat and electricity and has helped hundreds of organisations to become energy self-sufficient.”


Launching the report, Richard Kirkman, chief technology and innovation officer at Veolia UK and Ireland said: “We are now deep into a recognised climate crisis inextricably linked to a looming energy crisis. Recent events highlighted in this new report indicate there is every reason to be concerned about business continuity and ensuring uninterrupted energy supply comes with a net zero carbon footprint.”

Richard Kirkman said the climate crisis is linked to a ‘looming energy crisis’

He added:  “We have equipped ourselves to help businesses to avoid using energy and use it more efficiently, enabling organisations to generate their own low carbon power, and implementing new technologies and machine learning capabilities to ensure the energy is always on at the best price.”


Veolia puts forward a number of renewable energy solutions in the report, including producing energy from biomass and biogas. It also advocates the use of combined heat and power in energy from waste incinerators. – as seen as its SELCHP facility in South East London. These help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and help to secure energy supply, according to Veolia.

The report explains: “Uniquely in its sector, Veolia is able to develop district heating and private wire networks as a result of operating and maintaining our Energy Recovery Facilities.”

RDF Conference

This year’s RDF conference, organised by letsrecycle.com and the RDF Industry Group will be held on 28 November 2019. More details here.


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