What We Do
We setup, own and manage the project, i.e. BOO (Build-Own-Operate).
We sign a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with an electricity company or other off-taker.
We choose the best technology available and sign an EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) agreement for a turnkey commissioning of the project.
We sign supply agreements with feedstock suppliers.
We provide financing, debt and equity.
We choose a site in an area where feedstock is easily available and where electricity grid connection is nearby.
We apply and receive all regulatory permits to erect the plant and process the waste.
Blue Sphere chose waste-to-energy as its initial target market due to several trends, including:
'Endless' global supply of waste
In addition to the billions of tons of organic waste, farm waste and animal manure, "humans generate over 2.1 billion tons of municipal waste annually. Most of this waste is transported to landfills, where it sits, decays, and releases a suite of environmental pollutants" (Think Global Green, 2012). "However, a closer look reveals that within this 2.1 billion tons of waste there is over 24 quadrillion Btus of energy available for harvesting; enough heat to generate about 10% of the electricity consumed annually around the globe" (SBI Energy, 2011). Adding other types of wastes will increase this percentage substantially.
'Endless' demand for clean energy from waste
"The intensifying quest for alternatives to fossil fuels and the need to bridge the energy demand and supply gap has opened up new avenues for the waste to energy plant market. The escalating threat from farming and municipal waste poses serious environment problems. As fossil fuel reserves are fast depleting, there is a pressing need to step up the tempo of research to find alternative methodologies and technologies. Waste from farms, gardens, industries and municipalities can be utilized to obtain petroleum substitutes, heat and electricity" (Frost & Sullivan, 2011b). Accordingly, "the global energy market is witnessing a shift toward waste to energy technologies due to growing energy demands worldwide, the rapid depletion of conventional sources of energy, and concerns over environmental pollution from conventional energy sources. Governments across the globe are offering initiatives and financial schemes to encourage production of energy from industrial and agricultural wastes. While only a few international companies are currently active in the WTE [waste-to-energy] market, it is expected to witness a double-digit growth rate in the next five years largely due to the participation of developing countries" (MarketsandMarkets, 2012).
Accelerated growth of waste-to-energy market
"The global market for waste to energy technologies has evidenced substantial growth over the last five years, increasing from $5 billion in 2006, to $7 billion in 2010 and was unaffected throughout the global economic downturn" (SBI Energy, 2011). Of this global market, just the two segments of thermal and biological waste-to-energy technologies are expected reach at least $6.2 billion in 2012 and grow to $29.2 billion by 2022. Under the optimistic forecast scenario, the market value of these segments could reach $80.6 billion by 2022 (Pike Research, 2012).
China is a leading waste-to-energy market
“With many countries facing dramatic population growth, rapid urbanization, rising levels of affluence, and resource scarcity, waste-to-energy is reestablishing itself as an attractive technology option to promote low carbon growth in the crowded renewable energy landscape,” says senior analyst Mackinnon Lawrence. “China is already in the midst of scaling up capacity, and growth there is expected to shift the center of the WTE [waste-to-energy] universe away from Europe to Asia Pacific” (Pike Research, 2012). In China, clean electricity is driven by lack of sufficient energy supply and by Chinese government, which supports clean energy productions with higher tariffs. In July 2011, monthly total electricity consumption in China reached summit of 435 million MWh, the first time surpassing 400 million MWh, a 11.8% increase compared to July 2010 and 13.0% increase compared to June 2011. It is estimated that total electricity deficit in China will be around 30,000 MWh, due to increasing coal price and draught in the south (China Electricity Council, 2012).
Related markets to waste-to-energy
A key advantage of entering the waste-to-energy market is that there are other closely related markets that can generate further revenues, e.g. organic compost (known also as soil amendment), which enhances agricultural yield and is safer and healthier than chemical fertilizers since it has no chemical content, recyclables and carbon credit (i.e. emissions reductions), which is an important target of many governments across the globe. For instance, the Chinese government set a national target in 2009: Reduce carbon intensity by 40-45% by 2020 (BBC, 2009).
Waste-to-energy market needs professionals
"Waste-to-energy plants require high levels of expertise for designing and operating the plant using various kinds of wastes and technologies. When an opportunity arises for a waste-to-energy plant to be commissioned, the required local human resources with necessary technical skills for its smooth operation may not be readily available" ( Frost & Sullivan, 2011b). As a result, there is a need for a company that is able to carry out integration among all the activities and components of a waste-to-energy project.