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Hot Issue and Burning Options in Waste Management: A Social Cost Benefit Analysis of Waste-to-Energy in the UK

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  • Jamasb, T.
  • Kiamil, H.
  • Nepal, R.

Abstract

The growing stream of municipal solid waste requires a sustainable waste management strategy. Meanwhile, addressing climate change and security of energy supply concerns require increased use of low-carbon and domestic sources of energy. This paper assesses the economic and policy aspects of waste management options focusing on waste to energy (WtE). We conclude that high levels of WtE and recycling are compatible as waste treatment options. We also present a social cost-benefit analysis of waste management scenarios for the UK focusing on specific waste management targets and carbon price. The results indicate that meeting the waste management targets of the EU Directive are socially more cost effective than the current practice. The cost effectiveness improves substantially with higher carbon prices. The findings show that WtE can be an important part of both waste management strategy and renewable energy policy. However, achieving the full potential of WtE requires development of heat delivery networks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0801.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0801

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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

Related research

Keywords: Electricity; renewable energy; waste to energy (WtE); waste management; municipal solid waste (MSW).;

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  1. Connor, Peter M., 2003. "UK renewable energy policy: a review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 65-82, February.
  2. Massarutto, Antonio, 2007. "Municipal waste management as a local utility: Options for competition in an environmentally-regulated industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 9-19, March.
  3. Miranda, Marie Lynn & Hale, Brack, 1997. "Waste not, want not: the private and social costs of waste-to-energy production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 587-600, May.
  4. Hope, C. & Newbery, D., 2006. "Calculating The Social Cost Of Carbon," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0749, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Longden, David & Brammer, John & Bastin, Lucy & Cooper, Nic, 2007. "Distributed or centralised energy-from-waste policy? Implications of technology and scale at municipal level," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2622-2634, April.
  6. Tooraj Jamasb, 2007. "Technical Change Theory and Learning Curves: Patterns of Progress in Electricity Generation Technologies," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 51-72.
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