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Waste to Energy (WtE) Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Technology (Thermochemical, Biochemical), By Waste Type (Municipal Solid Waste, Process Waste, Agricultural Waste, Others), By Application (Electricity, Heat) and Regional Forecasts, 2022-2029

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100421



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The global Waste to Energy (WtE) Market size was valued at USD 32.15 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 33.28 billion in 2022 to USD 44.62 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific dominated the waste to energy (WtE) market with a share of 46.65% in 2021.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with waste to energy experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -2.8% in 2020 as compared to 2019.

Waste to Energy (WtE), also known as energy from waste, uses thermochemical and biochemical technologies to recover energy from urban waste, producing electricity, steam, and fuels. These new technologies can reduce the original waste volume by 90%, depending on the composition and use of outputs. WtE plants offer two significant benefits: environmentally safe waste management and disposal and clean electric power generation. The growing use of WtE as a method to dispose of solid and liquid wastes and produce electricity has dramatically reduced the environmental impacts of municipal solid waste management, including emissions of greenhouse gases


Disruptions in Supply Chain and Closure of Production Units to Slow Down Growth amid Pandemic

The outbreak of COVID-19 has disrupted the global economy by halting the operations of major industries, including recycling waste and energy generating industries. Lockdown was imposed across various countries to limit the spread of COVID-19 and has restricted operations with fewer employees and working time. The energy industry's labor and raw materials shortage has resulted in decreased production outputs and economic losses. The global solid waste management system met both opportunities and threats owing to the spread of COVID-19. In response to the increasing pressure of resource consumption and environmental impact, more and more attention was focused on elevating the sustainability of the waste management system. For instance, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have highlighted increasing the percentage of renewable energy, paying particular attention to MSW management, and reducing waste generation through recycling and re-use. Achieving those global goals has relied on a sustainable-developing solid waste industry such as the WtE, Waste to Material (WTM), and other waste disposal industries.


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Digitalization in Waste Management Techniques to Spur Market Opportunities

Strict government policies related to rising greenhouse gas emissions result in the innovation of green technology to develop clean energy. Governments worldwide are investing in renewable energy sources to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, complementing the adoption of WtE technologies. In addition, favorable incentives and programs have been introduced in all regions to promote effective waste collection and processing, creating significant growth potential for the waste-to-energy industry as it could help initiate appropriate technology for producing energy. For example, the creation of sorted, homogeneous streams of waste at the source is the gold standard of best practice. This creates opportunities for distributed recycling and upcycling activities.

Subsequently, digitization of waste collection and trading of these sorted materials allows for greater community participation in the waste collection. For example, the waste management facilities with a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) monitoring system can be automatically monitored and operated from a centralized control station to ensure efficiency and minimum manual operation. Thereby, the adoption of digital technologies in waste collection and disposal operations will not only provide information but will also improve data quality and better insights into a waste stream during processes.


Increase in Production of Clean Energy from Waste Drives Market Growth

The increasing industrialization and urbanization, accompanied by economic growth, results in waste generation, environmental threats, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The commercial and residential waste era has also increased significantly, with global changes in people's life patterns. Waste-to-energy has a role to play in achieving the transformation to a sustainable energy ecosystem acting as an energy source to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a clean demand response option, a design consideration of eco-industrial parks, and sometimes the only option for end-of-life waste treatment.

Additionally, the continuously rising demand for energy globally due to the increasing population and rapid industrialization and urbanization is one of the critical drivers of the global market. For example, per the Asian development bank WtE circular research report, the amount of waste produced from municipal waste is projected to reach 3.4 billion tons by 2050 due to economic development, population growth, and urbanization. Thereby, significant investment in project processes is being initiated to reduce environmental concerns and waste, providing growth opportunities for the waste-to-energy industry. For example, in July 2022, Hanoi, the Capital of Vietnam, aimed to recycle at least 80 percent of household solid waste into power by 2025. The city has received six project proposals with a total handling capacity of about 10,500 tons of waste.

Increasing Application of Waste Management Services to Fuel Market Growth 

Waste management is still one of the key challenges across major developing countries. Over a billion tons of waste is generated from agriculture, municipal, and industrial activities. Multiple industries around the globe are focusing on reducing energy consumption to reduce cost by adopting WtE techniques. waste-to-energy techniques, such as thermochemicals, can help end-users to alter waste management in an earnings opportunity for multiple applications such as food processing, dairy farms, and wastewater treatment. The processes involve converting liquid and solid waste into syngas by chemical reaction. Subsequently, the syngas or synthesis gas can be turned into electricity, gas fuel, and other valuable products.

Through such a process, the solid waste generated is no longer unavailable as they are used as feedstocks for gasifiers and converted into valuable electricity and heat, thus, reducing the cost of disposal and landfilling space. In addition, heating activity in various dairy farms accounts for approximately 40% of the electricity consumption. Thereby, the enchantment of efficient systems such as electricity production from waste is likely to propel waste growth in the energy market in the forecast period.


WtE Remains a Costly Option for Waste Disposal and Energy Generation over Other Services

Governments worldwide are increasingly adopting better municipal solid waste management practices, which include treating waste with various WtE technologies as one of the most viable options for disposing of MSW and energy generation. Multiple factors influence the choice of WtE technology, and every region needs to have a specific context for implementing the most reasonable solutions. This has resulted in the WtE sector being very complex and fragmented in policies and regulations with substantial untapped potential.

Furthermore, WtE is often considered a costly option for waste disposal and energy generation compared to other fossil fuel-powered alternatives. There is a disconnect as the environmental and social benefits of WtE are not valued in comparison with established renewable alternatives such as wind and solar energy. Furthermore, energy generation from waste suffers from the limited availability of resources. Thus, the power generation capacity gets hampered compared to other conventional energy resources, due to which specific considerations such as availability and a steady supply of raw materials, choice of technology, and suitable regulatory framework conditions, among others, should be given additional consideration in the market development.


By Technology Analysis

Biochemical to Hold Dominant Market Share Due to Crucial Role in Reducing Waste

Based on technology, the market is divided into biochemical and thermochemical. In biochemical technology, the anaerobic digestion technology has wide acceptance for biogas production. The growing trend of electricity production through biomass will likely result in the dominance of biochemical technology in the global waste-to-energy market share. In June 2018, the EU institutions agreed on a new Renewable Energy Directive for the next decade, including a legally-binding EU-wide target of 32% for renewable energy by 2030, in which the biogas sector will undoubtedly contribute to achieving this goal.

Furthermore, in thermochemical technology, incineration holds a significant share of WtE technology compared to other thermochemical technology such as thermal technology. This trend will likely continue owing to relatively low technology costs, market maturity, and high efficiency of about 25%. In addition, incineration is suitable in urban and rural areas and takes in all types of waste.

By Waste Type Analysis

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Municipal Solid Waste Dominates Market Due to Increasing Consumption of Goods 

Based on waste type, the market is segmented into municipal solid waste, process waste, agricultural waste, and others.

Municipal solid waste holds a dominating share of this market owing to higher waste generation from households, offices, shops, schools, hospitals, hotels, and other institutions. In addition, process waste is produced mainly due to industrial activities and has surged over time due to rise in industrial activities. However, government entities such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have set up a framework that focuses on re-using the waste produced as raw material, which is likely to promote the re-use of waste produced from industrial processes.

Furthermore, agricultural waste also holds a significant share of the WtE conversion due to its considerable adoption in the gasification and pyrolysis process. In the waste to energy market forecast timeframe, the increase in waste from residues and agricultural production will likely drive the waste to energy market growth from agricultural waste. Other waste types, such as manure waste, waste from silts, pesticides, herbicides, and so on are also adopted for energy conversion.

By Application Analysis

High Electricity Production from Waste Results in Dominating Share of Electricity Application 

Based on application, the market is bifurcated into electricity and heat. Increasing electricity from clean energy sources to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emission results in high electricity output from waste sources.

The generation of usable heat from waste is widely used for various heating purposes across residential and industrial areas and also holds a significant market share. The generation of heat as a byproduct of energy from waste with additional earnings results in the remarkable growth of WtE for heat generation applications.


Asia Pacific Waste to Energy Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)

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The market has been studied across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.

The Asia Pacific region dominates the market owing to increasing economic activities, resulting in increased waste production. Furthermore, various governments are supporting the establishment of WtE facilities, which will result in the dominating share of Asia Pacific in the forecast timeframe.

In addition to Asia Pacific, Europe has a very mature market owing to the presence of various waste to energy facilities/plants along with an increasing amount of energy generation and valuable materials for recycling from municipal solid waste.

Furthermore, North America will hold a significant share of the market outlook in the forecast period due to substantial waste generation and a rising focus on managing waste. For example, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA’s accepted best practice to sustainably manage solid wastes mainly focuses on factors such as waste source reduction and recovery, energy recovery, treatment, and disposal, among others.

Moreover, countries across the Middle East & Africa and Latin America are experiencing a significant increase in waste to energy plants with the growing trend of a circular economy, which majorly focuses on waste management.


Key Participants are Concentrating on Enhancing their Business Capacities

Waste to energy recovers energy from waste treatment, usually in the form of heat or electricity. The market is fragmented at the local level as many key players develop significant businesses to cater to local needs. The most prominent companies operating in this market include Veolia, China Everbright International, and Covanta.

Unsurprisingly, the global market has witnessed significant growth opportunities around the world due to the encouragement of governments, states, and local authorities to reduce pollution and landfill majorly in developing countries, along with the search for more sustainable alternative fuel sources and associated increased public spending on WtE technologies.

For example, as part of its ESG commitment, HDFC Bank is proud to partner with Indore Clean Energy Private Limited (ICEPL) for the development of 550 tons per day of municipal solid waste (MSW) into compressed biogas (CBG) plant – the largest bio-CNG - Plant in Asia. Indore Clean Energy Pvt Ltd (ICEPL) is backed by the Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF), India's most prominent climate protection fund, with anchor investors, including NIIF and the U.K. government.

List of Key Companies Profiled:

  • Veolia (France)

  • Huawei Enterprise (China)

  • China Everbright Limited (China)

  • Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. (New Hampshire)

  • SUEZ (Paris)

  • Covanta (U.S.)

  • EDF (France)

  • Ramboll Group (Denmark)

  • AVR (Rotterdam-Botlek)

  • Allseas (Switzerland)

  • Attero (India)

  • Viridor (U.K.)


  • June 2022 – AVR decided to explore the possibility of locally managing its hazardous flue gas cleaning residues by partnering with Swedish company HaloSep AB. The HaloSep operation is a distinct solution that turns hazardous waste into harmless and helpful snatches. Choosing HaloSep's solution would make AVR in Rotterdam more circular by recovering material resources and reducing the plant's environmental footprint.

  • June 2022 – Veolia tendered the sales of Suez's U.K. waste business segment and continues to build the global pioneer of ecological transformation. The project focuses on ecological change by bringing together Veolia and most of Suez's international activities. The merger has already proved to help add new skills, technologies, and regions. Additionally, it will speed up the execution of the strategic program Impact 2023, strengthen Veolia's international presence, and increase invocation capacity.

  • April 2022 - Veolia announced that it would initiate two new projects for developing local, sustainable and low-carbon energy sources. In Finland, the company is launching the world's largest bio refinery project producing CO2-neutral bio-methanol from the pulp manufacturing process. Secondly, the Group is partnering with Waga Energy to commission the largest biomethane production unit to recover biogas from a non-hazardous landfill in France.

  • April 2022 - Viridor announced the sale of its landfill and landfill gas business to Frank Solutions Limited. The deal involves the operation and management of 44 sites across the U.K. The deal will enable Viridor to continue delivering the strategy of growing its core business areas of energy recovery and polymer reprocessing while pushing ahead with its plans to be net zero by 2040.

  • January 2022 - AVR – Duiven WtE Plant is a 30MW biopower project developed in multiple phases and is set to generate 263GWh electricity, offsetting 400,000t of CO2 emissions per year.


An Infographic Representation of Waste-to-Energy Market

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The research report comprehensively assesses the global market by offering valuable insights, industry-related information, and historical data. Several methodologies and approaches are adopted to make meaningful assumptions and views. Furthermore, the research report provides a detailed analysis and information per market segment, helping our readers get a comprehensive global industry overview.




Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


By Technology, Waste Type, Application, and Region



By Technology

  • Thermochemical

  • Biochemical

By Waste Type

  • Municipal Solid Waste

  • Process Waste

  • Agriculture Waste

  • Others

By Application

  • Electricity

  • Heat

By Region

  • North America (By Technology, By Waste Type, By Application, and by Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Technology, By Waste Type, By Application, and by Country)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Russia (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Technology, By Waste Type, By Application, and by Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • Australia (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • Southeast Asia (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Technology, By Waste Type, By Application, and by Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Technology, By Waste Type, By Application, and by Country)

    • GCC (By Application)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

The Fortune Business Insights study shows that the global market was USD 32.15 billion in 2021.

The global market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% in the forecast period.

The market size of Asia Pacific stood at USD 15.0 billion in 2021.

Based on technology, biochemical segment holds the dominating share in the global market.

The global market size is expected to reach USD 44.62 billion by 2029.

The key market drivers are adopting clean energy and growing waste management application.

The top players in the market are Veolia, AVR, China Everbright Limited, Attero, and Viridor.

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