Energy from waste

Energy from waste

Helping energy from waste developers, investors and operators at all stages of a project

Ricardo provides technical, market, regulatory and procurement support to developers, investors and operators of energy from waste (EfW) facilities at all stages of your project.

Our due diligence team has a deep technical understanding of energy from waste and biomass energy generation technologies, including combustion (incineration), advanced conversion technologies (ACT) (gasification, pyrolysis and combination technologies), and anaerobic digestion (AD), EfW and associated technologies, waste market knowledge, expertise in the low carbon energy sector, and a unique combination of policy and regulation insight through its work with the UK and other European Governments.

Experience, gained from advising developers, technology providers and procuring authorities, coupled with our extensive waste market knowledge, expertise in the low carbon energy sector, and a unique combination of policy and regulation insight through  our work with the UK and other European Governments, enables us to provide you with holistic advice that minimises risk and maximises the benefits to your project. 

Our EfW services include:

Technical advice

  • Independent technical due diligence and technology assessment.
  • Advice on CHP and district heating/cooling schemes.
  • Owner's Representative.
  • Advice on energy product quality and markets, including biomethane, synthesis gas (syngas), liquid fuel from waste plastics, and transport biofuels.
  • Pre-treatment requirements and waste derived fuel quality specification.
  • Commissioning and performance test planning, supervision and sign-off.
  • Project and performance monitoring post financial close.
  • Lender’s technical adviser.
  • Expert witness services to assess performance against guarantees, and attend public and planning inquiries.
  • Post-commissioning advice and process optimisation.

Financial support

  • Financial modelling to select the preferred option.
  • Evaluating capital and operating costs, cost benefit analysis and gate fee modelling. 
  • Commercial due diligence.

Regulatory support

  • Policy support to optimise scheme benefits.
  • Insight and clear understanding of renewable energy incentives (for example, Renewables Obligation (RO), Contracts for Difference (CfD), Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)).
  • Planning, permitting and regulatory compliance.
  • Understanding of waste export legislation and European waste derived fuel markets.

Market assessment and due diligence

  • Identify suitable feedstock sources and support contract negotiation.
  • Recovery and disposal markets for thermal treatment residues including incinerator bottom ash (IBA), IBA metals and air pollution control (APC) .
  • Identify and value energy markets, including electricity and heat generation, and support contract negotiation.
  • UK and export markets for refuse derived fuel (RDF) and solid recovered fuel (SRF).
  • Identify sustainable, local recovery markets for organic treatment residues including whole and separated digestate, compost and sludge, including specialist agricultural advice.

Procurement support

  • Develop business case, specification and contract documents.
  • Technology options appraisal.
  • Mass flow analysis of preferred technical solution.
  • Supplier selection and reference plant review.
  • Technical contract review.
  • Risk assessment and mitigation analysis.
  • Independent technical advisor during competitive dialogue, bid development and bid evaluation.
  • Project monitoring.

Environmental advice

  • Emissions abatement advice.
  • Statutory nuisance advice (for example, odour, noise, vermin and health impacts). 
  • Environmental impact assessment, with unique specialist expertise in air quality and health risk aspects.
  • Habitats Regulations, including screening and Appropriate Assessment.
  • Environmental sustainability (WRATE) modelling.

Our experience

  • Technical advisor in the development of a 480,000 tpa waste fired energy from waste plant. Developed design basis through to EPC contractor procurement.
  • Technical advisor in the development of a 320,000 tpa waste fired energy from waste plant. Developed design basis and technical specifications
  • Technical advisor to a Government subsidiary procuring a 110,000 tpa waste fired energy from waste plant. Developed the project from concept through to technology and EPC engagement with full suite of technical and commercial documentation
  • Technical advisor in the development of two 100,000 tpa biomass fired energy from waste plants. Detailed technical solutions developed in close collaboration with technology provider and selected EPC.
  • Owner’s engineer, two clinical waste treatment facility – including developing specifications, site representative, monitoring commissioning and testing, and operational monitoring.
  • Providing technical support to a number of Environmental Impact Statement and Planning applications. Technical support closely dovetailed with wider Ricardo team including our well-established air quality team and human health colleagues.
  • Contract management for the delivery of two materials recovery facilities processing dry mixed recycling.
  • Owner's engineer in the development of a 250,000 tpa processing plant able to process biomass into renewable development transport fuel.
  • Detailed technical and commercial feasibility analysis into the conversion of 1.3m tpa into jet fuel.
  • Detailed technical and commercial feasibility analysis into the development of new hazardous waste, AD and materials recovery infrastructure.
  • Heat mapping to enable clients to identify and quantify opportunities to operate as EfW CHP, including developing the UK CHP Development Map for DECC.

Relevant resources