Ecofys report shows potential for further uptake of alternative fuels in the cement industry


According to Ecofys, around 26 million tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided if the EU28 cement industry were to cover 60% of its fuel needs with alternative fuels. Furthermore, it could reduce the costs for about €12 billion of investments in dedicated waste-to-energy incineration plants. The new study is an extension of a report published last year - which originally analyzed the alternative fuels uptake potential in Greece, Poland and Germany. The new report now covers 14 countries.

In the production of cement, the cement industry uses waste as an alternative fuel and alternative raw material. This processing of waste while producing cement is commonly known to as co-processing.  Ecofys have pointed out that there are considerable differences across the member states, with the cement industry in some countries achieving a co-processing rate of only 7%, compared to 65% in others. The EU average is currently 41%.

The report identifies four main drivers (waste management policy, low levels of bureaucracy, modernising the cement industry and price volatility) to help encourage co-processing in the sector. In addition, experts also highlighted the main barriers at national level that can hinder co-processing in the cement industry. Insufficient availability of high quality waste, excessive bureaucracy, low public acceptance and low landfill taxes were distinguished among them.