WTE in the 0.2 to 0.6 quad range for 2000, increasing to between 0.45 to
0.84 quads by 2010, and increasing to between 0.87 to 1.17 quads by 2030.
To place these projections in perspective, consider that total U.S. energy
consumption was about 83.4 quads in 1988 and is projected to increase to
97.4 quads in 2000 and to 108.4 quads in 2010 ( Energy Information Administration, 1990). Thus, energy from WTE currently accounts for about 0.4
percent of all U.S. energy consumption. In our base-case, energy from WTE
is projected to account for 0.6 percent of U.S. consumption by 2000 and
increase to 1.1 percent by 2010. In our low-case, WTE will account for 0.5
and 0.7 percent in 2000 and 2010, respectively. If our high-case scenario
is correct, WTE will represent about 0.9 percent of U.S. consumption in 2000 and increase to 1.7 percent by 2010. Thus, WTE is not expected to
displace a large percentage of conventional energy forms used in the United
States. However, when viewed in an absolute sense, the numbers are not
small. For further perspective, consider that the Energy Information Administration (EIA) ( 1991) estimates that U.S. electric utilities consumed about
1.25 quads of petroleum, 2.87 quads of natural gas, and 2.91 quads of
hydroelectric power in 1990. The EIA estimates that other energy forms--
including wood, geothermal, wind, photovoltaic, solar, and waste--contributed only 0.2 quads of input energy to electric utilities in 1990. Therefore, to the extent that MSW is used for future electricity generation (and
all WTE facilities in the planning phases are slated to produce electricity at
least in part), WTE may become a major player in the production of electricity in the coming decades.
See, for example, Hershkowitz ( 1987), Hershkowitz and
Salerni ( 1987), Office of Technology Assessment ( 1989), and Williams ( 1991). Hershkowitz and Salerni find that, with respect to Japan, as much as 25 percent of the cost of WTE
facilities is paid by the national government in the form of grants to local governments.
For more on the history of WTE adoption in Europe and the United States,
see, for example, Brickner ( 1987), Diaz,
Golueke ( 1982, Chapter 1), Office of Technology Assessment ( 1989, Chapter 6), and Williams ( 1991, Chapter
Information in this subsection is summarized from Government Advisory
Associates ( 1991). Additional details about the current WTE industry and potential
factors that may have contributed to recent cancellations of WTE projects are found
in Chapters 4 and 5 of this work. The reader should note that the number of facilities
and initiatives referred to in Chapters 4 and 5 differ in some cases from those given
in this chapter. For the analysis purposes in subsequent chapters, some facilities
have been deleted from the data set; and in some cases initiatives have been summed
over several years rather than taking a "snapshot" of the situation at one particular
time, as is done in this chapter.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Waste-To-Energy in the United States:A Social and Economic Assessment.
Contributors: T. Randall Curlee - Author, Susan M. Schexnayder - Author, David P. Vogt - Author, Amy K. Wolfe - Author, Michael P. Kelsay - Author, David L. Feldman - Author.
Publisher: Quorum Books.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1994.
Page number: 61.
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