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ESWET welcomes landmark EU Parliament NZIA vote

ESWET welcomes landmark EU Parliament NZIA vote
The 10 MWth Adven Säffle waste-to-energy plant in Säffle, Sweden.

On April 25, 2024, the European Parliament passed the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), recognizing and strengthening Waste-to-Energy’s role towards a greener Europe. The European Suppliers of Waste-to-Energy Technology (ESWET) says it "welcomes the EU’s ambition that led to this bold move and acknowledges the cooperation of the European institutions to get this legislation over the line."

The Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) is an initiative that stems from the Green Deal Industrial Plan. NZIA aims to scale up the manufacturing of clean technologies in the European Union, increasing the EU’s manufacturing capacity of technologies that support the clean energy transition and release extremely low, zero, or negative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when they operate.

NZIA will accelerate the deployment of technology aimed at decarbonizing the European industry.

In addition, ESWET highlights that the new legislation harmonizes permitting processes and public procurement to establish a regulatory framework, encouraging private investment, and streamlining the deployment of numerous technologies coupled to the waste-to-energy sector such as:

Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS)

Waste-to-energy plants can reduce waste and achieve net negative carbon emissions due to waste’s 50-60 percent biogenic fraction.

The carbon capture and cleaning unit at AVR Duiven, the Netherlands (photo courtesy AVT Duiven).

After pulp and paper plants, waste-to-energy has the highest potential for Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) in Europe with 36 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2)per year.

In the Netherlands, AVR Duiven has had a CO2 facility in operation since 2019, with a capture capacity of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, which can be routed to local horticulture to support the sustainable cultivation of fruit and vegetables.

The NZIA sets a 50 million tonne CO₂ storage capacity by 2030 and requires Member States to facilitate CO₂ transport infrastructure.


Hydrogen technologies recover the heat generated during the incineration process and put it to good use for district heating or other industrial processes.

During this Waste-to-Hydrogen conversion, the biogenic fraction of the waste contributes to low-carbon hydrogen whose use can help decarbonize the European energy system.

At the Wuppertal facility in Germany, for example, hydrogen from the Waste-to-Energy plant can power the city’s public transport network.

Heat pumps

Waste heat is a form of renewable energy that can be directed into district heating or industrial processes.

In cities with advanced district heating systems such as Brescia, Italy, or Malmö, Sweden, waste-to-energy can provide over 50 percent of the city’s district heating needs.

The total waste heat potential in the EU is 304.13 TWh/year, equivalent to almost 10 percent of the EU’s total industrial energy consumption.

Sustainable alternative fuel technologies

The Waste-to-Energy sector can also play a role in the production of Sustainable Alternative Fuel (SAF).

Using biogenic carbon that is captured from WtE plants and combining it with green hydrogen, the non-recyclable municipal solid waste (MSW) finds a new pathway to becoming sustainable fuel, simultaneously contributing to decreasing landfill waste and GHG emissions.

For example, the Westenergy WtE plant in Finland is participating in a Power-to-Methane (PtG) project, soon to be operational, with a production capacity of 55,000 tonnes of synthetic gas per year.

Sustainable biogas and biomethane technologies

Municipal waste can provide a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. The power from the Dietikon plant in Switzerland is combined with CO₂ from wastewater to produce biomethane, generating 18,000 MWh of natural gas substitute a year and reducing CO₂ emissions by up to 5,000 tonnes.

Far beyond incineration, the fact that so many of the technologies legally defined as ‘net-zero technologies’ in the NZIA are found in Waste-to-Energy plants highlights the sector’s key contribution to the net-zero transition. Marking the end of the legislative semester full of industrial and environmental advances, ESWET welcomes the EU’s ambition and embraces Waste-to-Energy’s role in creating a greener Europe, the statement said.

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