Most developed economies are increasing their use of renewable energy sources while moving away from coal as a primary fuel for electrical generation. In many densely populated areas with high power usage, the shift is away from large central power stations connected to loads by long and expensive transmission lines, and toward smaller, often intermittent, renewable power generation using wind and solar.
In many jurisdictions, this trend has led to severe problems with management of the power gird. Large transmission corridors were originally designed to transport baseload power from large power stations to loads, some of which may be hundreds of miles distant. One way to address the problem of gird congestion is to create sources of power nearer to the load so that transmission line usage is minimized and transmission costs are held to a minimum.
Smaller scale, cleanly operating waste to energy plants, located near their sources of fuel as well as near their loads, are an ideal means of addressing the problem of grid congestion. Such plants can often be incorporated into a combined heat and power scheme, thus boosting their overall thermal efficiency to 60% or more.
In terms of distributed renewable energy generation, rotary kiln waste to energy plants require less land per MW of generation than does wind or solar, while providing continuous baseload (24/7) power. The mean service life of conventional steam Rankine cycle generation plants is also longer than that of solar or wind installations leading to lower overall life cycle costs.
The flexibility and scalability of EPR rotary kiln gasifier systems makes them ideal as small to medium scale waste to energy plants supporting distributed generation.