The Northacre facility would be aligned with the Government’s current approach in relation to climate change.
The Committee on Climate Change (“CCC”) Technical Report (May 2019) states: “Additional private sector investment is required in alternative waste disposal facilities – AD [anaerobic digestion], MBT [mechanical biological treatment] and incineration to deal with waste diverted from landfill. There are risks of offshoring waste if this doesn’t happen.”
Offshoring in this context means waste exports. In short, it is wrong and irresponsible for the UK to meet its zero carbon targets by burdening other countries with our waste carbon.
Within the CCC report’s section on Power and Hydrogen Production, the CCC emphasises the continued roll out of renewables and low carbon technologies. It says CO2 emissions from such technologies should reduce over time by a movement towards Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS). “CCS could provide firm and mid-merit low-carbon power, with significant deployment potential. As well as in application to gas-fired power stations we consider potential use of CCS in combination with bioenergy.” [EfW is a partial bio-energy technology.]
A further reduction in carbon emissions from EfW is anticipated through the de-carbonisation of the residual waste itself as legislation and society move away from high (non-biogenic) carbon products such as plastic.
The CCC report recognises the ongoing need for baseload low carbon technologies because of the intermittency of renewables (i.e. they require the wind to blow or the sun to shine). Thus, the CCC offers support for: “non-intermittent low-carbon plant such as nuclear power or gas or bioenergy plant with CCS”.