Coordinator - Working Group on Energy Recovery
After close to two years the ISWA Working Groups were unable to meet in person until this year (2022) when countries started opening up. The Working Group on Energy Recovery took this opportunity to meet in Stockholm in April, followed by another in-person meeting in Singapore in September and finally in Rotterdam in December. ISWA and the city of Rotterdam hosted multiple meetings during the week in December, including the Working Group on Energy Recovery at ISWA’s headquarters, in Rotterdam. It was a week full of activities for the members and GS alike.
I had the pleasure of attending my second in person WGER meeting in Rotterdam and it was a very interesting session with lots of knowledge sharing and contributions by the members. The WGER meeting was attended by 26 members (including 10 that attended virtually). During the meeting the group had an interesting discussion on the current state of the energy recovery industry including a possible new threat to the industry, Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS – In incineration flue gas). Peter Simóes also shared his experience at COP27 representing ISWA and how ISWA’s declaration and commitments would be addressed in the future.
Johnny Stuen (WGER Chair) had also invited two guest speakers who shared interesting insights on the current state of WtE. The first guest speaker, Iain Struthers presented on assessing the negative carbon emissions potential from the Waste-to-Energy sector in Europe; while the second guest speaker Tuvshinjargal Otgonbayar presented on optimisation of solvent-based port combustion capture processes for waste-to-energy. The meeting concluded with final discussions on the WGER workplan and activities for 2023.
The next day, the group attended a site visit to AVR Duiven which was about 1.5hrs away by train from the City of Rotterdam. The group of 15 WGER members, including myself, received a very warm welcome from the team at AVR lead by Michiel Timmerije. He first did a presentation on the carbon capture plant managed by AVR, which uses advanced waste to energy technology to reduce emissions.
A fruitful discussion followed the presentation. Michiel later took us on a tour around the vicinity and showed us the energy plant. It was a very cold day in Duiven, so the tour took only 20 minutes as the group would prefer having discussions inside, where it was warmer. The visit provided a valuable opportunity to learn more about the latest developments in the field and get a better understanding of how they can be used to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Through this working group meeting, the delegates gained an invaluable insight into the possibilities of waste to energy technology and its potential to reduce emissions and help achieve the goals of COP27. We hope that this experience will inspire the delegates to take action and continue to promote the use of waste to energy technology in their own countries and around the world.