Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Abu Dhabi, 16th July, 2008. E-waste, animal waste, nuclear waste, mining waste, chemical waste, industrial waste, domestic waste, the list goes on and on. Heavy metals, unburned toxic chemicals, new pollutants such as dioxins and furans, fugitive emissions, incinerator ash – a motley crew that causes controversy when waste to energy and incinerators are brought to the table.

As reported at the World Future Energy Summit 2008 by Nickolas Themelis of Columbia University, the GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions of global land-filling generates up to 50 million tonnes of methane, 90% of which escapes into the atmosphere. Open burning of other biomass contributes another 40 million tonnes of methane.

Environmentally sound management of waste is coming to the fore with increased waste legislation, global regulation of toxic waste management and the net value of alternative energy-production cycles, such as nuclear and biomass by-products, coming under increased scrutiny.

According to Juan Unda, President of Zabalgarbi, Waste to Energy produces electricity “with less environmental impact than the majority of energy sources available nowadays. The public doesn’t consider it as a renewable energy but that of out-dated incineration methods from the 1970’s and 80’s”.

When asked about the modern dangers of waste to energy recovery, Prof. Dr. Nasir El Bassam, President of the Board and Director, International Research Centre for Renewable Energy (IFEED), says “we need to recognize that transformation of waste to energy is one of the best options to make use of waste and to get rid of waste. Modern methods of purification means there is no emission of toxic waste.”

With the Kyoto clock ticking, industries are all vying for different emission standards. However, Brian Dooley, Director of Marketing, EnerTech Environmental, are hoping that Copenhagen 2009 goes a step further than setting emission limits and regulating carbon trading and hopes the global community will ‘directly encourage investment in environmentally sustainable technology development and transfer’.

What remains to be seen is whether the global ban on exporting hazardous waste to the poorer developing world will be fully ratified, forcing waste producers to deal with their own toxins. According to Okechukwu Ibeanu, a special rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council, poverty still fuels the developing world to accept mountains of toxic waste despite health and environmental risks and inadequate waste management facilities.
All these issues and more will be examined in the Waste to Energy technical stream at the World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi, January 19-21, 2009. The summit will focus on sustainable solutions to manage resources and energy recovery in the future covering both new technologies and case studies of implementations that reduce or eliminate waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
Speakers will include Dr Marc Kapteijn, Commercial Director, City of Amsterdam Waste and Energy Company and Kevin Bolin, President & CEO, EnerTech Environmental Inc. confirmed.

World Future Energy Summit
The World Future Energy Summit held its inaugural event on 21-23 January 2008 in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The first summit in January brought together 11,272 attendees from 77 countries, 213 exhibitors from 23 countries, over 80 speakers and 423 international and regional media.

Hosted by Masdar, WFES 08 took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre with Credit Suisse as the Principal Sponsor. The Platinum Sponsors were BP, Shell, Standard Chartered and Merrill Lynch and the Gold Sponsors were International Power, Total, Dolphin Energy and Occidental.

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