The Brescia waste-to-energy plant
A waste-to-energy plant generates electricity and thermal energy from waste that cannot be efficiently recycled into new materials. The plant, in operation since 1998, has three combustion units and was designed on the basis of established technology and tests carried out worldwide. Its emissions level is well below the legal requirement. Together with remote heating, Brescia’s waste-to-energy plant has allowed the city to comfortably meet its 2010 target to reduce CO2 emissions, proposed by the international community.
The plant has been conceived as part of an integrated, ecological system for the management of waste, energy and local resources.
The plant is a valuable source of energy for the city of Brescia. It not only produces electricity but also recovers the heat generated, channelling it to consumers’ homes through a remote heating network of 630 km. A few statistics to illustrate the importance of this process: the plant, which can burn on average 750,000 tonnes of waste and biomass per annum, can generate almost 600 million KW/h of electricity (the annual requirement of 200,000 households), and more than 800 million KW/h of heat (the remote heating requirements of more than 60,000 apartments). It does this with savings of more than 150,000 tep (tonnes petroleum equivalent), preventing the emission of more than 400,000 tonnes of CO2 – the same result that would come from the reforestation of more than 15,000 hectares of land (around twice the size of the Brescia municipal area).
The emissions figures can be seen in the "Weekly emissions report" table, below.
In October 2006, Brescia’s waste-to-energy plant received the prestigious “Industry Award” from Wtert (Columbia University, New York), which ranked it first in the world. The rankings include all the figures for the first 10 plants.
Recent environmental monitoring studies have fully confirmed the positive results of past years. The combustion ash undergoes further recycling: iron is separated on site, while the residue is sent to special systems that separate out the non-ferrous metals and use the remainder to produce cement and concrete. The ash collected by the filters is channelled into storage silos, and after the ash has undergone an inertization process to render it harmless, it is used to fill deep mines in Germany.
|The Waste to Energy plant video (only italian version)|
|waste-to-energy plant: Clean and Renewable Energy (pdf 8,28 MB)|