Energy from Waste - European Overview and Croatian Potentials

The potential of Waste-to-Energy (WtE) as a way to both improve waste management and to produce renewable energy has been recognized in some of EU Member States (MS) and WtE started to play important role in reaching both renewable energy and waste management targets. In colder European areas waste is incinerated in plants able to produce either heat only (HO) or both heat and electricity (CHP) in cogeneration process to supply district heating systems and industry with the energy from waste. On the contrary, in warmer areas energy from waste is recovered in the form of electricity. Moreover, currently the usage of waste incineration facilities is more common in western than in eastern European countries, where waste is rather landfilled.
Croatia has 301 registered landfill sites, even if a closer analysis shows that only a part of them are active, the rest being closed and in some cases with waste already removed.
Total annual landfilling in Croatia reaches the value of almost 2 million tonnes of waste. Landfilled waste produces landfill gas, a mixture of gases mostly made by methane, which is a strong greenhouse gas with the impact factor significantly higher than CO2. Using landfill gas as an energy source can then reduce GHG emissions and, since it is produced from biodegradable component of waste, it also helps to meet renewable energy targets. Moreover, according to Bloomberg, electricity from landfill gas power plants shows one of the lowest levelized costs on electricity market. Currently in Croatia there is not even one landfill gas power plant, but in the Register of Renewable Energy Sources and Cogenerations, three projects in the administrative procedure phase can be found. The aim of this presentation is to provide an overview of potentials to use waste as a source of renewable energy in Croatia according to principles of best practice currently applied in other EU MS.

  • perm_identity Hrvoje MEDARAC, PhD
    European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italia
Others Authors

Nicolae SCARLAT, PhD
European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italia

European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italia

Katalin BÓDIS, PhD
European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italia

Aleksandra KRSTIĆ, dipl. ing., univ. spec. oec.
Fond za zaštitu okoliša i energetsku učinkovitost, Zagreb