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  • Papers and Presentations
  • Statements
  • State Statutes Recognizing Waste-To-Energy as a Renewable Resource
  • The 2004 IWSA Directory of Waste-To-Energy Plants

    Papers and Presentations

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    Waste-To-Energy a Renewable Energy Source

    The U.S. EPA states that waste-to-energy facilities are a "clean, reliable, renewable source of energy" and waste-to-energy facilities produce electricity with "less environmental impact than almost any other source of electricity." For more information see: www.wte.org/epaletter.html (Letter to IWSA from Marianne Horinko and Jeffrey Holmstead, U.S. EPA, 2/14/03)

    The U.S. Department of Energy recognizes waste-to-energy as a renewable energy source and includes it in their tracking of progress toward achieving the Federal Government's renewable energy goal established by Executive Order 13123.

    The Federal Power Act defines renewable electric energy as electric energy produced by a renewable energy facility which produces electric energy primarily of solar energy, wind energy, waste resources, biomass resources, geothermal resources, or any combination thereof.

    The Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act definition of small power plant production facility is as follows: The term renewable energy means electricity generated from biomass, waste, renewable resources to include wind and solar, geothermal resources, or any combination thereof.

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions Regulations (18 CFR.CH. I, 4/96 Edition, Sec. 292.204) defines biomass energy as any primary energy source which on the basis of its energy content, is 50 percent or more biomass shall be considered biomass.

    The Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 signed into law on June 20, 2000 defines biomass as any organic material that is available on a renewable or recurring basis, including agricultural crops and trees, wood and wood wastes, plants, grasses, residues, fibers, animal wastes, municipal wastes, and other waste materials.

    The Federal Pacific Northwest Planning and Conservation Act defines renewable resource to include power generated through the use of biomass.

    The fuel used in waste-to-energy plants to produce clean electricity is municipal solid waste. Trash is both sustainable and indigenous - two basic criteria for establishing what is a renewable energy source.

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    State Statutes Recognizing Waste-To-Energy as a Renewable Resource

    California: Established an RPS* that requires 20% by 2017. Solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, digester gas, geothermal and one waste-to-energy facility are eligible technologies.

    Connecticut: Established an RPS* that requires 6% in 2005 and 7% in 2009. Renewable energy sources were placed in Class I or Class II categories according to the sources㯭mercialized potential. Class I: solar, wind, small hydro, sustainable biomass, landfill gas and fuel cells. Class II: hydro, waste-to-energy and other biomass.

    Hawaii: Established a voluntary RPS* of 7% in 2003 rising to 9% in 2010. Solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, landfill gas, ocean thermal, wave, biomass including waste-to-energy, bio fuels and savings from heat pumped water are eligible for the RPS.

    Iowa: Established an RPS* that requires 2% from 1999. Solar, wind, methane recovery and biomass are eligible technologies. The existing waste-to-energy plant is also included.

    Maine: Established an RPS* that requires 30% from 2000. Fuel cells, tidal, solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, biomass, waste-to-energy and cogeneration systems are eligible technologies.

    Maryland: Established an RPS*. Wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas and waste-to-energy are eligible renewable technologies.

    Massachusetts: Established a RPS* that requires 1% from new renewables in 2003, rising to 4% in 2009 and increasing 1% each year thereafter. Solar, wind, ocean thermal, wave, tidal, landfill gas, low-emission biomass are eligible as new renewables. Waste-to-energy and hydro qualify as existing.

    Michigan: Established an RPS* to encourage renewable energy generation and use including waste-to-energy.

    Minnesota: Established an RPS* that required 425 MW of wind by 2002 with another 400 MW of wind by 2012. 125 MW of biomass that includes waste-to-energy are also required.

    Nevada: Established an RPS* that requires 5% by 2003 rising to 15% in 2013. Wind, solar, geothermal and biomass (includes agricultural, wood, animal wastes, municipal wastes and aquatic plants) are eligible.

    New Hampshire: Established programs to encourage purchase and sale of renewable energy including waste-to-energy.

    New Jersey: Established a RPS* of 2.5% for Class I and or Class II renewable energy sources. An additional RPS for Class I renewables increases to 4% by 2012. Class I includes solar, wind, fuel cells, geothermal, wave, tidal, landfill gas and sustainable biomass. Class II includes waste-to-energy and hydro that meets environmental standards.

    New York: Governor Pataki in January 2003 called for an RPS* of 25% by 2013. The Public Service Commission is currently drafting regulations to implement the standard.

    Pennsylvania: Established an RPS* requirements on a utility-by-utility basis. Waste-to-energy is defined as a renewable and is an eligible technology.

    Virginia: Defines waste-to-energy as a renewable energy source.

    Washington: Defines waste-to-energy as a renewable energy source.

    *RPS: Renewable Portfolio Standard "mandates that a certain percentage of electricity sold in a state is generated from renewable energy sources such as waste-to-energy. Not all states that have defined renewable energy have an RPS.

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    The 2004 IWSA Directory of Waste-To-Energy Plants

    The 2004 IWSA directory provides updated information about the U.S. Waste-To-Energy industry based on email and telephone surveys with individual facilities and waste-to-energy communities during January 2004 through April 2004. State and Federal agencies were also consulted.

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