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07 May 2024

1.2 million tonnes of carbon removals will be delivered across the UK by enfinium

Amy Power
1.2 million tonnes of carbon removals will be delivered across the UK by enfinium

A new plan has been announced by enfinium, which encompasses two major and significant milestones for the carbon industry. The first is a way for enfinium to decarbonise their operations, whilst the other is to deliver carbon removals, at scale, to the UK, in order to help them achieve the county’s net zero targets.

The plans that have been announced surrounding this development are extremely detailed and aimed at ensuring both of these goals are achieved to the highest potential, so they will have maximum impact.

Along with detailed plans, enfinium’s plan is also being supported by an investment programme which is worth more than £1.7 billion. This programme fully supports the ‘Net Zero Transition Plan’ which has depicted enfinium’s pathway towards achieving net zero by 2033 across its Scope 1 and 2 emissions. This goal, if achieved, would place enfinium ahead of the waste industry targets of 2040, by a significant distance.

This excellent achievement will be made possible through the installation of CCS technology at enfinium’s sites, located throughout the UK. This technology will allow the company to create hundreds and thousands of tonnes of durable carbon removals from 2030, with the plan for this to rise to 1.2 million tonnes annually by the year 2039.

This kind of technology and the process it makes possible, means that a solution has been created to the UK’s current waste problem. Presently, the UK produces an estimated twenty-seven million tonnes of waste on an annual basis and all of this waste is not able to be recycled. Due to this large mass of waste, it has been suggested by the Government that even if the UK meets its recycling targets, there will still be more than seventeen million tonnes of unrecyclable waste left over every year. This is what makes enfinium’s plans so crucial to the UK’s plans to decarbonise its waste and also hit its net zero by 2050 target.

enfinium’s plan is so important because at least half of the unrecyclable waste which the UK produces, consists of biogenic content. Biogenic content is organic material such as food waste, plants and soiled paper or card, that has already naturally absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere. Due to the CO2 already being absorbed by the material, it means that, once the CCS technology is installed at enfinium’s energy from waste facilities, the technology will be able to permanently capture and store the CO2. This will prevent the CO2, which is stored within the waste, being released into the atmosphere. The overarching result of installing this technology, will be a new carbon removal.

On top of the difference enfinium’s plan will make to the amount of waste produced, enfinium has also shown interest in supporting local communities in their mission to achieve net zero for their operations. So far, a plan for a variety of techniques such as heat networks, the production of electrolytic hydrogen and finally, the direct supply of carbon negative electricity through private wires, has been put together with the aim of providing homegrown, baseload power to nearby users behind it.

This plan was made possible through the Net Zero Transition Plan being independently verified by independent engineering consultancy Arup.

Bloomberg NEF, spoke about the estimations that have been made around this project, such as, ‘With countries and companies needing carbon removals to reach their pressing decarbonisation goals, the carbon market could be valued at over $1.1 trillion annually by 2050 according to estimates from The energy from waste sector has the potential to be one of largest sources of negative emissions3, playing a vital role in supporting businesses to tackle their Scope 3 supply chains emissions.’

CEO of enfinium, Mike Maudsley, commented, “Today enfinium uses waste that cannot be recycled, which would otherwise go to climate damaging landfill, to generate low carbon homegrown energy. Installing carbon capture technology will allow us to go further and remove more than one million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. Carbon removals is a once in a generation opportunity for the waste sector globally. With bold leadership and in partnership with governments we can pioneer a credible and affordable pathway to zero emissions and green growth.”

Director and UK Resources Business Leader at Arup, Ben Glover, added, “Energy from waste has a demonstrable role in delivering vital carbon removals for the UK economy, which are needed imminently. The actionable pathway and timeline of enfinium’s Net Zero Transition Plan demonstrates how their ambition to deliver carbon removals at scale becomes a reality. Our work with enfinium has shown that there is a sound business case and pathway to carbon removals, generating sustainable homegrown energy and creating green jobs to power the UK’s net zero economy.”

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