Sustainablewaste management, climate change, and renewable energy are three significant issues becoming increasingly important worldwide, especially in Europe. Incidents of spills, land & water contamination, biodiversity losses, and health concerns have triggered thresholds for policy makers of European Union (E.U.) to ensure implementation of feasible waste management systems throughout the Europe.
Various landfill, waste minimization, and diversion directives have been sanctioned by the European Union (E.U.). The United Kingdom (U.K.) government is obliged by these United Nations(U.N.) and E.U. frameworks to cut its Greenhouse Gas (G.H.G) emissions by 12.5% and 80% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012, and 2050 respectively. Moreover it is also obliged to enhance renewable generation from a current base of around 2% to 15% by 2020.
In order to comply, the U.K. government is creating a country-wide energy and environmental reform that introduce nationwide waste, emission, & energy schemes, and strategies & plans. In general, drivers for energy and environmental reforms can be divided into three categories:
• Legal obligations;
• Economical drivers;
• Social concerns.
Apart from legal obligations and social issues, the major driver for encouraging private investments in sustainable projects is profit from the incentive schemes. Apart from grants by governing bodies to undertake sustainable projects; Renewable Obligations Certificates (R.O.Cs), Feed In Tariffs (F.I.Ts), Levy Exemption Certificates (L.E.Cs), and (Renewable Heat Incentives (R.H.I) provide direct incentives to the project owner for production of each MWh of heat and electricity. These incentives schemes have created an energy and environmental reform countrywide.
Along with private investments for medium and large projects, a number of individuals are investing in small-scaled renewable energy projects. Although the size of each project is relatively small, it doesn’t matter due to the number of projects which are taking place countrywide; all driven by the Reform. According to Department of Energy and Climate Change (D.E.C.C), these small scale installations could meet 2% of electricity demand in 2020. However, UK government has been criticized lately by various organizations for its inadequate energy and environmental policies and only time will decide authenticity of DECC’s optimism and competence of newly introduced incentives schemes.
Credits: Image is copyrighted to Ubaid Khan and documentation linked to source.