WASTE-TO-ENERGY NEWS
ERC Applauds Senate Finance Committee on PTC Action

The Energy Recovery Council and three other renewable energy trade associations today commended a 19-5 vote by the Senate Finance Committee this week to extend and enhance production tax credits (PTCs) for all renewable energy sources. The tax credits are essential for the development of waste-to-energy and other clean energy-generating facilities by offsetting the high cost of construction. Yesterday’s action by the Committee will give renewable baseload technologies equitable access to this important program by allowing eligible facilities to qualify for the tax credits when construction is commenced. 

“The Energy Recovery Council commends the Senate Finance Committee for including important changes to the production tax credit that will allow all renewable technologies to benefit from this important program,” said Ted Michaels, President of Energy Recovery Council. “Modifying the definition of placed in service will provide more opportunities for waste-to-energy facilities to utilize the renewable tax credit, which will in turn drive sustainable waste management practices in the United States.” 

Baseload energy sources – which provide consistent power independent of external factors like weather or time of day – particularly rely on PTCs at a time when fuel costs are high and electricity prices are low.  These sources of energy combined produce almost 75% of the nation’s renewable electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The Biomass Power Association, the National Hydropower Association, and the Geothermal Energy Association joined ERC in the joint statement.

WTE Would Receive Permanent Benefit under Obama Energy Plan

President Barack Obama today called on the country to refocus the nation's energy production on renewable sources. He specifically called for a permanent extension of the section 45 production tax credit for renewable resources, including waste-to-energy. Speaking in Florida, Obama said that this year's rising gasoline prices highlight the need to move to more renewable sources of energy.  "If we're going to take control of our energy future; if we're going to avoid these gas price spikes down the line, then we need a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy - oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, biofuels, and more."

SWANA Releases White Paper on Economic Strength of WTE

On January 9, the Solid Waste Association of North America released a white paper titled “Waste-to-Energy Facilities Provide Significant Economic Benefits”. The purpose of this white paper is to illustrate the financial success of waste-to-energy operations throughout North America. Waste-to-energy is a reliable and renewable form of energy that has become the basis for many of the most successful solid waste management systems in North America. More than 80 waste-to-energy plants throughout the United States have allowed municipalities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and waste to landfills, while providing significant financial benefits to their communities.  The paper highlights a number of economic benefits communities achieve by investing in waste-to-energy such as additional revenues generated from the sale of recovered metals and renewable energy. These revenue streams have been used to fund other solid waste activities as well as loan re-payment.   A copy of the white paper can be found here.

ACORE's Phase II National Policy Conference: Renewable Energy in America

The Energy Recovery Council is pleased to support ACORE’s annual Phase II Policy Forum, which has never been more important. With an renewable industry whose growth and economic potential is being called into question, Phase II will be a critical meeting geared to formulate an over-arching strategy for the continued success and support of the industry. The forum will explore issues of national and energy security, economic development, capital raising, and jobs for the many under and unemployed Americans. The thought leaders from the global stage will join leaders from the national and state level to assess the status of renewable energy policy today, the range of policy options available, and help to advise on a best case policy framework for 2012 and beyond. Your attendance is critical to formulating a well-rounded energy policy for America’s future.  Please visit http://www.acorephaseii.com to register and for all the details.

ERC Defends Waste-to-Energy Against Inaccurate Report

A recent report from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) took shots at the waste-to-energy industry, but missed the mark when it failed to understand the science behind facilities that generate renewable energy from household trash. An unbiased evaluation would have drawn several conclusions that the report failed to make. First, waste-to-energy is widely used and recognized by federal, state and international agencies as a safe, proven, renewable energy source that meets stringent environmental standards. Second, localities, states, and countries that have the highest reliance on waste-to-energy also generally have the highest recycling rates. Third, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have determined that waste-to-energy is a net reducer of greenhouse gases.

“Waste-to-energy is a sustainable waste management tool and a renewable energy generator with a proven track record worldwide,” said Ted Michaels, President of the Energy Recovery Council, which is the national trade association representing companies and local governments engaged in the waste-to-energy sector. “This report is an illustration of an organization playing fast and loose with data to arrive at a predetermined conclusion. The fact remains that policy makers at all levels of government, domestic and international, have recognized waste-to-energy as an important source of renewable energy that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Michaels added, “Energy is too scarce, waste is too abundant, and jobs are too precious to ignore the benefits of waste-to-energy. The EIP report is intended to obfuscate the issues and does so by drawing inaccurate conclusions. It is disappointing that the EIP’s commitment to intellectual integrity falls short of their self-stated interest in environmental integrity.”

To dowload the ERC statement, please click here.