Waste to Energy Market (By Technology: Thermal, Biological; By Form: Steam, Electricity, Hot Water; By Application: Treatment of Waste, Reduction of Waste Volume, Generation of Energy) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, Regional Outlook, and Forecast 2023 – 2032

The global waste to energy market size reached USD 42.41 billion in 2022 and is projected to surpass around USD 82.27 billion by 2032, expanding at a CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast period from 2023 to 2032. The U.S. waste to energy market was valued at USD 7.4 billion in 2022.

Waste to Energy Market Size 2023 To 2032

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Key Takeaways

  • Europe has held the highest revenue share of 41% in 2022.
  • Asia-Pacific is estimated to observe the fastest expansion during the forecast period.
  • By Technology, the thermal segment contributed over 80% of revenue share in 2022.
  • By Technology, the biological segment is expected to expand at the fastest CAGR over the projected period.

Growth Factors

The growing implementation of favorable government policies and regulations to encourage proper disposal of wastes along with energy generation from wastes is expected to boost the growth of the waste to energy market. The surging demand for energy across various end use verticals is expected to drive the growth of the waste to energy market significantly. With the rising global population, the generation of wastes has increased significantly. According to the United Nations, the global population is expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050 and over 11 billion by 2100. Therefore, the wastes accumulation is expected to rise exponentially in the upcoming future. The rising carbon emission and air pollution are negatively impacting the environment. Moreover, the accumulation of various types of wastes is also becoming a major concern for the government as it hampers the environmental health. The rising government initiatives to commercialize alternate energy sources due to the depleting conventional sources of energy are driving the growth of the waste to energy market across the globe.

Furthermore, the implementation of various government policies regarding environment protection and controlling carbon emissions and reducing the usage of fossil fuels is providing impetus to the global waste to energy market. The rapid industrialization and rapid urbanization are fostering the demand for the efficient energy supply. The industrial and domestics wastes are rising at a rapid rate. This is forcing the government to promote the generation of energy using wastes. This is boosting the deployment of Waste to Energy (WTE) plants across various locations. As per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one ton of solid waste processed into energy generation can reduce one ton of greenhouse gases. Therefore, the growing need for reducing greenhouse gases is propelling the demand for the waste to energy market across the globe.

The waste to energy plants helps in significantly reducing the harmful emissions due to various factors like recovery of metals for recycling, avoidance of methane landfills, and offset of carbon emission from fossil fuel power generation. The rise in technological advancements to recover energy to enhance the out efficiency of the waste to energy plants is bolstering the growth of the global waste to energy market.

Waste to Energy Market Scope 

Report Coverage Details
Market Size in 2023 USD 45.13 Billion
Market Size by 2032 USD 82.27 Billion
Growth Rate from 2023 to 2032 CAGR of 6.9%
Thermal Segment Market Share in 2022 80% 
Biological Segment Market Share in 2022 20%
Base Year 2022
Forecast Period 2023 to 2032
Segments Covered Technology, Form, Application, Geography
Companies Mentioned Hitachi Zosen, Wheelabrator, Keppel Seghers, Covanta, Tenologies, Foster Wheeler, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Xcel Energy, Veolia Environment, China Everbright International, Plasco Energy, Green Conversion Systems


Waste to Energy Market Dynamics


Rising production of biofuel

The global demand for biofuels for multiple purposes is rapidly growing. According to the International Energy Agency, in 2022, biofuels represented approximately 3.5% of global transport energy demand, especially for road transport. This demand is expected to grow in the upcoming years, which is the major element to drive the growth of the market. 

Biofuel is formed by transforming biomass and wastes into productive energy. Waste-to-energy facilities can utilize organic waste materials, such as agricultural residues and food waste, as feedstock to produce biofuels like biogas or bioethanol. The availability of such feedstock increases with the demand for biofuels, making waste-to-energy a viable and sustainable option. Biofuels can serve as an alternative and renewable source of energy, reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Waste-to-energy technologies can play a role in supplying the energy needed for biofuel production, enhancing energy security. Combining waste-to-energy with biofuel production contributes to a circular economy by utilizing organic waste streams that would otherwise end up in landfills. This reduces waste and greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with sustainability goals. Thus, the rising production of biofuel is expected to boost the growth of waste to energy market. 


Regulatory hurdles

The approval of products made from urban, agriculture or animal waste is generally a time-consuming process. Moreover, multiple environment-related regulations make the approval process even more complicated. This factor can limit the entry of manufacturers or even researchers to invest in the waste to energy market. In addition, multiple legal and administrative hurdles are introduced to the waste to energy market that create a major obstacle for the market to grow. Considering the emergence of waste to energy solutions, regulatory bodies are prone to fluctuate guidelines associated with production or manufacturing. This can lead to skepticism for manufacturers and investors. Thus, regulatory hurdles are observed to create a restraint for the market.


Government support

According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (India), the ministry has launched multiple initiatives under the National Bioenergy Program. The program by Indian ministry supports setting up plants for biogas/power from CNG production from urban and agriculture waste. The ministry has also offered substantial financial assistance for the program. 

Rising support from governments across the globe offers a significant opportunity for the waste to energy market to grow. Governments often incentivize the production of biofuels and the reduction of organic waste through policies and subsidies. This support can stimulate the growth of both the biofuel and waste-to-energy sectors. Many governments set renewable energy targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Waste-to-energy can contribute to these targets by converting waste into clean energy, and government support can help meet these goals. Governments establish regulatory frameworks that govern waste management and energy production. Clear and favorable regulations can streamline the permitting process and provide certainty to investors, making it easier to attract private investment in waste-to-energy projects. Thus, such initiatives and even financial support from government are observed to offer opportunity for the market. 


High expenses for waste management

The process of achieving waste to energy requires a strong and precise waste management system. Waste incineration or waste management can be a major challenge for manufacturers. Plants or firms associated with waste to the energy industry require regular maintenance of the plant. The overall disposal cost can fluctuate according to government regulations. Moreover, a serious shortfall of infrastructure area can also create a significant challenge for the market’s expansion by limiting growth. 

Technology Insights

Based on the technology, the thermal segment dominated the global market, accounting for around 80% of the market share in 2022. The incineration thermal technology was the major revenue contributor in 2022. The ease of operations and simple process of energy generation has led to the significant growth of this segment. The thermal treatment of wastes to generate electricity is considered to be the most eco-friendly technique and is highly adopted in the urban cities. The incineration thermal technology offers various benefits such as limited greenhouse gas emissions, reduction of wastes in terms of volume, and energy preservation that has fostered the demand for the thermal technology. This technology can reduce wastes by 10% of its volume.

Waste to Energy Market Share, By Technology, 2022 (%)

On the other hand, the biological is expected to be the most opportunistic segment during the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to the rising technological advancements in the anaerobic decomposition technology. The rising government investments in the research and development of anaerobic decomposition technology to enhance the economic viability are driving the growth of this segment. The rising demand for the clean vehicle fuels like biogas and rising environmental concerns are expected to boost its demand during the forecast period.

Region Insights

Europe led the global waste to energy market, garnering a market share of around 41% in 2022. The growth is majorly attributed to the presence of several top market players such as Veolia, EQT AB, Suez, and Ramboli Group A/S. The strict government regulations pertaining to the carbon emissions, environment protection, and waste disposal has played a prominent role in the growth of the Europe waste to energy market. Moreover, the implementation of strict carbon tax, landfill taxes, and direct subsidies and incentives to the waste to energy plants have bolstered the growth of the waste to energy market in Europe.

North America held the second largest position in the global waste to energy market in 2022. The rapidly surging awareness regarding the climate change and environment protection has supported market growth in North America. The growing government initiatives to integrate and enhance the utilization of clean energy generation sources are anticipated to drive the growth of the market. As per the data of Energy Information Administration, about 29.5 million tons of municipal solid waste was utilized in around 68 U.S. waste to energy plants that generated approximately 14 billion kWh of electricity, in 2018. Further, the higher demand for the eco-friendly and advanced technologies in North America has contributed exponentially towards the growth of the market in the past few years.

Asia Pacific is expected to be the most opportunistic market during the forecast period. The rapid industrialization and rapid urbanization has resulted in the generation of huge volume of domestic and industrial wastes. Moreover, the increasing number of households and industrial units in the region is boosting the demand for energy across Asia Pacific region. The rising air pollution level due to greenhouse gases and carbon emission has forced the government to adopt environment protection measures and to dispose the large volume of wastes, the government is focusing on the deployment of waste to energy plants. The government spending for the municipal solid waste management program along with the surging popularity of the waste to energy plants in several economies such as India, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia is expected to boost the growth of the waste to energy market in the Asia Pacific region. Therefore, the government is expected to focus more on the deployment of the advanced waste to energy plants with the rising industrialization and urbanization of the rural areas in the developing economies of Asia Pacific region.

Key Market Developments

  • In December 2020, government in Karnataka, India laid the foundation of waste to energy plant, developed by the Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd.
  • In October 2020, Doosan Lentjes was receiveda contract by DHE (DinslakenerHolz-Energiezentrum) to develop lot 1 of the new wood combustion plant, in Dinslaken. This new plant will thermally treat approximately 200,000 metric ton of waste wood (class l-lll) every year. ​
  • In 2018, Acciona, S.A. developed Australia’s first large scale waste to energy plant in Kwinana Industrial Area.

The various market players operating in the global waste to energy market are constantly involved in various developmental strategies to gain market share and exploit the prevailing market opportunities.

Waste to Energy Market Companies

  • Hitachi Zosen
  • Wheelabrator
  • Keppel Seghers
  • Covanta
  • Tenologies
  • Foster Wheeler
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
  • Xcel Energy
  • Veolia Environment
  • China Everbright International
  • Plasco Energy
  • Green Conversion Systems

Segments Covered in the Report

By Technology

  • Thermal
    • Incineration
    • Pyrolysis
    • Gasification
  • Biological

By Form

  • Steam
  • Electricity
  • Hot Water

By Application

  • Treatment of  Waste
  • Reduction of Waste Volume
  • Generation of Energy

By Geography

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • U.K.
    • Germany
    • France
  • Asia-Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • Malaysia
    • Philippines
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
    • GCC
    • North Africa
    • South Africa
    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current size of waste to energy market?
The global waste to energy market size was reached at US$ 42.41 billion in 2022 and is expected to rake around US$ 82.27 billion by 2032.
What will be the CAGR of global waste to energy market?
The global waste to energy market is expected to drive growth at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2023 to 2032.
Who are the major players operating in the waste to energy market?
The major players operating in the waste to energy market are Hitachi Zosen, Wheelabrator, Keppel Seghers, Covanta, Tenologies, Foster Wheeler, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Xcel Energy, Veolia Environment, China Everbright International, Plasco Energy, and Green Conversion Systems.
Which are the driving factors of the waste to energy market?
The rising concerns regarding the climate change and deteriorating environmental conditions is bolstering the growth of the waste to energy market.
Which region will lead the global waste to energy market?
Europe region will lead the global waste to energy market in the forecast period 2023 to 2032.


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