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

  • Owner’s Engineer and Test Engineer/Witness during EfW commissioning - on behalf of FCC, Sita, Jersey Government, Veolia and Viridor.
  • Carried out air quality and health risk studies to support successful planning and permit applications, including the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre.
  • Heat mapping to enable clients to identify and quantify opportunities to operate as EfW CHP, including developing the UK CHP Development Map for DECC.
  • Owner’s representative, clinical waste treatment facility – including developing specifications, site representative, monitoring commissioning and testing, and operational monitoring.
  • Technical due diligence, novel biomass co-generation plant – acting for a UK bank, assessed conceptual design of technology for a proposed 156MW scheme in the Balkans to process lignite and biomass.
  • Energy scheme auditing – technical validation and audit of combined heat and power (CHP) schemes certified under the CHP Quality Assurance Programme and principal audit contractor for the domestic and non- domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes.
  • Technical due diligence, advanced biofuels demonstration plants – on behalf of Department of Transport, technical and commercial assessment of proposed demonstration projects and monitoring successful projects during construction and commissioning
  • Options for the better exploitation of waste to energy – research for EC Joint Research Centre to maximise the potential of waste to energy to further reduce landfill and enhance energy security, informing the Commission’s Communication on waste to energy
  • Technical Adviser, procurement of wet and dry AD facilities – on behalf of Essex County Council, prepared outline business case solutions, draft design, mass balance and specifications, and evaluated tenders and negotiated final contractor proposals

Relevant resources