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Waste to Energy in India: A Study on the slow pace of Adoption in Delhi using functions of innovation system (FIS) framework

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Abstract and Figures

Urban India generates more than 188,500 tonnes of MSW daily, which is around 68.8 million tonnes annually. Delhi, being the major city, dumps 9,500 tons of garbage per day, out of which 8,000 tonnes per day (TPD) are collected and transported to landfill sites. This huge generation and accumulation of waste have become a threat to the public and the environmental health. However, this waste can also be perceived as an opportunity and a source of energy through Waste to Energy(WtE) technology, which is economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Waste to Energy (WtE) is an innovative technology that generates electricity or heat through preliminary treatment of Municipal Solid waste (MSW). Even though, WtE technology is not new for Delhi or for India, still it has not been successful in playing a major role in the socio-technical regime. Hence the aim of this report is to discuss the following research question: What are the factors aggravating the slow pace of adoption of WtE technology in Delhi? This paper has analyzed the above question through the functions of innovation system (FIS) framework for the city of Delhi, as WtE is not a new technology for India and India has all the required financial and skilled manpower to implement the technology, so FIS was found to be more suitable to address this problem in comparison to the other frameworks available. The slow pace of adoption of WtE technology in India is observed from the technological point of view and also through various functions of FIS. The main challenges lie in the high cost of collection, transportation and segregation of wastes. Secondly, a lack of knowledge to handle WtE contracts through PPP (Public Private partnership) model, BOT models, etc. Thirdly, a mismatch at structural and institutional level to boost the development of WtE technology, leading to insufficient budgets and mismanagement of funds. These acted as stumbling blocks due to which, earlier WtE projects could not survive in a long run and further stalled the adoption of the technology. Using the FIS analysis, we have tried to look whether each function has a connection or strengthen each other forming a positive feedback loop. We found that there are motors of innovation, and this leads to function 2, knowledge of development, function 4, guidance of search and function 6, the mobilization of resources. We clarified the regimes involved in WtE as a complex socio technical system by combining FIS with multilevel approach by van Geels, which taught us that WtE should be considered as a part of waste regime and energy regime. Public awareness of climate change and public health issues have brought the public opinion in favour of renewable energy as against fossil fuels. Cabinet’s approval of 100% procurement of WtE energy, inclusion of feed in tariff, funding through Viability Gap Fund (VGF) under Swachh Bharat Mission and Central Financial assistance through MNRE have created a support system for WtE. However, implementation is still hindered due to structural faults and separation of waste management and WtE. To conclude, full deployment of WtE is feasible in Delhi and the government’s and policy support system are at place. However, further improvement is required to bring the Public and Private bodies together, through better organizational structures, which would lead to proper allocation of resources and their focused contributions for the adoption of WtE; while doing improvements in the waste regime which are currently outside the energy regime. Major recommendations after the research are: firstly, to bring the waste management and WtE under single contracts to adopt focused approach towards WtE, through optimized processes for waste segregation and collection, and which would make WtE economically viable. Secondly, to optimize the resources already available, the funding opportunities from the government and utilization of feed in tariff(which also include a mandatory power purchase of WtE output). Thirdly, a multi-level approach by citizens and municipal authorities to force waste segregation and tariff implementation, as well as to develop improved indigenous technologies by research institutes and entrepreneurs. Finally, we recommend an incorporation of waste and renewable energy regime for further research, along with a new approach incorporating FIS van Alphen.
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Delft University of Technology
Waste to Energy in India: A Study on the
slow pace of Adoption in Delhi
An FIS Framework Analysis
GROUP 11
Authors:
A. C. Lahiraja
P. K. Panna
S. Kroezen
V.B.V.K. Nallacheruvu
Supervisor:
Dr. L. M. Kamp
January 21, 2018
WASTE TO ENERGY IN INDIA: A STUDY
ON THE SLOW PACE OF ADOPTION IN
DELHI
This report has been made for the partial fulfillment of credits for the course
Sustainable Energy Innovations and Transitions (WM0931SET) by
Group 11 consisting of the following members.
4554876 | AMANDA CASTOLINA LAHIRAJA
4655400 | PRAVEEN KUMAR PANNA
4260473 | STIJN KROEZEN
4728297 | VENKATA BADRI VAMSI KRISHNA NALLACHERUVU
1
Abstract
Urban India generates more than 188,500 tonnes of MSW daily, which is around 68.8 million tonnes
annually. Delhi, being the major city, dumps 9,500 tons of garbage per day, out of which 8,000
tonnes per day (TPD) are collected and transported to landfill sites. This huge generation and
accumulation of waste have become a threat to the public and the environmental health. How-
ever, this waste can also be perceived as an opportunity and a source of energy through Waste to
Energy(WtE) technology, which is economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Waste to
Energy (WtE) is an innovative technology that generates electricity or heat through preliminary
treatment of Municipal Solid waste (MSW). Even though, WtE technology is not new for Delhi
or for India, still it has not been successful in playing a major role in the socio-technical regime.
Hence the aim of this report is to discuss the following research question:
What are the factors aggravating the slow pace of adoption of WtE technology in
Delhi?
This paper has analyzed the above question through the functions of innovation system (FIS)
framework for the city of Delhi, as WtE is not a new technology for India and India has all the
required financial and skilled manpower to implement the technology, so FIS was found to be more
suitable to address this problem in comparison to the other frameworks available. The slow pace
of adoption of WtE technology in India is observed from the technological point of view and also
through various functions of FIS. The main challenges lie in the high cost of collection, transporta-
tion and segregation of wastes. Secondly, a lack of knowledge to handle WtE contracts through
PPP (Public Private partnership) model, BOT models, etc. Thirdly, a mismatch at structural and
institutional level to boost the development of WtE technology, leading to insufficient budgets and
mismanagement of funds. These acted as stumbling blocks due to which, earlier WtE projects
could not survive in a long run and further stalled the adoption of the technology.
Using the FIS analysis, we have tried to look whether each function has a connection or strengthen
each other forming a positive feedback loop. We found that there are motors of innovation, and
this leads to function 2, knowledge of development, function 4, guidance of search and function 6,
the mobilization of resources.
We clarified the regimes involved in WtE as a complex socio technical system by combining FIS
with multilevel approach by van Geels, which taught us that WtE should be considered as a part
of waste regime and energy regime.
Public awareness of climate change and public health issues have brought the public opinion in
favour of renewable energy as against fossil fuels. Cabinet’s approval of 100% procurement of
WtE energy, inclusion of feed in tariff, funding through Viability Gap Fund (VGF) under Swachh
Bharat Mission and Central Financial assistance through MNRE have created a support system
for WtE. However, implementation is still hindered due to structural faults and separation of waste
management and WtE.
To conclude, full deployment of WtE is feasible in Delhi and the government’s and policy support
system are at place. However, further improvement is required to bring the Public and Private
bodies together, through better organizational structures, which would lead to proper allocation
of resources and their focused contributions for the adoption of WtE; while doing improvements
in the waste regime which are currently outside the energy regime.
Major recommendations after the research are: firstly, to bring the waste management and WtE
under single contracts to adopt focused approach towards WtE, through optimized processes for
waste segregation and collection, and which would make WtE economically viable. Secondly,
to optimize the resources already available, the funding opportunities from the government and
utilization of feed in tariff(which also include a mandatory power purchase of WtE output). Thirdly,
a multi-level approach by citizens and municipal authorities to force waste segregation and tariff
implementation, as well as to develop improved indigenous technologies by research institutes and
entrepreneurs. Finally, we recommend an incorporation of waste and renewable energy regime for
further research, along with a new approach incorporating FIS van Alphen.
2
Contents
Abstract 2
1 Introduction 4
1.1 WhatisWastetoEnergy ................................ 4
1.2 ResearchQuestions.................................... 4
1.3 Methodology ....................................... 4
1.4 ResearchBoundaries................................... 5
1.5 Structure ......................................... 5
2 Waste to Energy Technology in India 6
2.1 ABriefHistory...................................... 6
2.2 TechnologicalOverview ................................. 6
2.3 StakeholdersInvolved .................................. 8
2.4 Barriers & Drivers of Further Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.5 Externalities ....................................... 11
3 Theoretical Framework Discussion 13
3.1 Functions of Innovation System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.2 FISvanAlphen...................................... 14
3.3 Strategic Niche Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.4 MultiLevelPerspective ................................. 15
3.5 Choosing the Right Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.6 TableofIndicators .................................... 17
4 Framework Analysis: WtE 19
4.1 ApplyingFIStoWtE .................................. 19
4.1.1 FrameworkAnalysis ............................... 19
4.1.2 Explaining Feedback Loops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.2 RegimeAnalysis ..................................... 26
4.2.1 WasteRegime .................................. 26
4.2.2 EnergyRegime.................................. 27
4.3 LandscapeAnalysis.................................... 28
5 Conclusion 29
6 Reflections & Recommendations 31
6.1 PrimaryRecommendations ............................... 31
6.2 Recommendations to the Actors involved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
6.3 Alternative framework analyses for a qualitative solution based approach to address
slowadoptionofWtE:.................................. 32
6.3.1 Mixed solution approach through SNM and MLP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
6.3.2 Solution approach through van Alphen FIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.4 Recommendation for further research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
6.5 What’s Next? Bracing for the impact of new socio-technological systems and tran-
sitionsofthefuture.................................... 34
Appendix 36
Bibliography 37
3
1 Introduction
Delhi, being at the heart of the Indian economy and job opportunities, entice a multitude of pop-
ulation and inherent challenges along with them. Increasing urbanization and changing lifestyles
have led to ever increasing large quantities of generated wastes, which has become a threat to the
environment and also to the health of the local people. Delhi dumps 9,500 tons of garbage per day,
out of which 8,000 tonnes per day (TPD) are collected and transported to landfill sites (“Delhi’s
solid waste: a systemic failure,” n.d.).
This report presents a case study of employing Waste to Energy (WtE) Technology in Delhi, to
reduce the ecological burden, while producing electricity through sustainable energy technologies.
The innovation system concerning deployment and complete utilization of WtE technology in the
geographic area of Delhi, have been discussed and explored in this report.
1.1 What is Waste to Energy
Waste to Energy (WtE) is a relatively new technology where electricity or heat is generated through
preliminary treatment of Municipal Solid waste (MSW). MSW consists of food waste, paper,
cardboard, plastics, PET, glass, textiles, metals, wood and leather, ash, etc., (Tozlu et al., 2016).
In this report, we will discuss about generation of electricity in WtE plants and not heat. WtE
technology involves the following components:
1. Waste collection
2. Waste Segregation
3. Waste Processing/Treatment
4. Pelletization
5. Energy generation
The adoption of this technology is limited and is constrained because of the costs involved in waste
collection and waste segregation. Due to which, the market price of the electricity generated is
higher than other technologies in use which makes the adoption of this technology limited.
1.2 Research Questions
Even though, WtE technology is not new for Delhi or for India, still it has not been successful in
playing a major role in the socio-technical regime. Hence the aim of this report is to discuss the
following research question:
What are the factors aggravating slow pace of adoption of WtE technology in Delhi?
In this report Functions of the Innovation Systems (FIS) has been adopted to analyse and map
the developments and the steps taken by various actors like the government, policy makers, en-
trepreneurs, NGOs, power generation companies, power purchasing companies, municipality etc.
Following sub-questions would facilitate to answer the main research question:
1. What is the most suitable approach for studying the dynamics of this technology?
2. What are the incumbent technologies in the regime? What is the level of competition?
3. Who are the major/relevant actors/influencers involved in the process?
4. What is the current legislation and policy framework in place?
5. What are the roadblocks/bottlenecks involved in the process?
1.3 Methodology
Frameworks like Strategic niche management (SNM) and FIS are commonly used to determine the
possibility of success of an innovation system and the later was found to be most appropriate for
this case, which answers the first sub-question, which shall be discussed in detail in chapters 3 and
4.
4
This report is based on desk research and through literature survey of scientific literature, govern-
ment reports, parliamentary responses, web resources and media articles. Few telephonic interviews
were carried out to understand the intricate involvement of various actors, however the same is
not quoted as reference, as the provided details were further substantiated with recorded references.
The details collected from all the above resources helped to understand the socio-technical regime
around the technology. The scientific literatures provided the technical details of the technology and
various other methodologies being employed in India, along with various survey details. Govern-
ment reports and parliamentary responses helped to understand the policy framework, guidelines,
recommendations and the steps taken by the government. Web sources and media articles provided
latest updates or the ground realities of the government’s actions, recent projects, actions taken by
the companies and other public bodies. This information was categorized and analyzed through
the Functions of Innovation Systems (FIS), to understand the contribution and impact of each
these steps and also to explain to interactions among the various involved actors. This helped to
understand the barriers to the adoption of the technology.
1.4 Research Boundaries
This research deals with the deployment and diffusion of the WtE technology in the socio-technical
regime and analyses the factors which promoted or hindered the development. The research do
not deals with the direct problem of the waste management and excludes other methods and tech-
nologies to convert waste to heat, decomposition of waste to manure, waste recycling or reduction
of generated waste etc. which are also good ways to deal with the problem of waste management.
This research also excludes the technical details or intricacies of the technology involved.
1.5 Structure
This purpose of this report is to explain the reasons behind the slow pace adoption of waste
to energy technology in India with the help of FIS. The report will also give recommendations
based on our study. Chapter 2 highlights the technological overview and stakeholders involved in
this technology application which answers sub-question 2 and 3. Chapter 3 covers the theoretical
framework discussion about FIS and MLP. The first sub-question is solved using the right approach
as a result of this chapter. The fourth and fifth sub-question are answered in Chapter 4, which
applies FIS and MLP to WtE innovation. Chapter 5 concludes the report and highlights all
the answers from the research questions. Finally, chapter 6 recommends what measures have to
be taken to overcome the barriers in adopting waste to energy technology in India, as well as
prospective improvements for further research.
5
2 Waste to Energy Technology in India
2.1 A Brief History
The first large-scale Municipality Solid Waste (MSW) incinerator, built at Timarpur, New Delhi,
in 1985 had a capacity to process MSW waste up to 300 tonnes per day (TPD) and cost INR 250
million (US$ 5.7 million). While incineration is the most common technology used for generation
of Waste to Energy (Electricity, heat, etc), there are certain limitations: high moisture content and
high biodegradable content can lead to high losses making the technology economically unviable.
Yap and Nixon (Yap and Nixon, 2015) explain that it were these reasons, poor waste segregation,
seasonal variations in waste composition and properties, inappropriate technology selection and
operational and maintenance issues that led to the closure of Timarpur incinerator in 1987. Despite
many years in technological advancements, the problem remains the same from a niche perspective.
WtE plants have been experimented over a long period of time in India and most of them failed
due to the same precise reasons: the inability to sort and segregate waste sustained over time, as
mentioned by Sunita Narain, who is Delhi’s environmental activist, from the Centre for science
and Environment.
2.2 Technological Overview
The quantity and composition of MSW generated vary from developed to developing countries,
and even within different cities of the same country. It depends on several factors such as standard
of living and degree of commercial activities. Every year, 40 million tonnes of waste is generated
in India, and most of it is disposed to unsanitary landfills in city outskirts (Hoornweg and Bhada,
2012). As the largest commercial centre in northern India, Delhi generates 9500 tonnes of waste
each day, consists of food waste, sewage, plastics paper, cardboard, textile, leather, construction
and demolition waste.
The process of waste to energy generation involves the following five aspects as shown in Figure
1. Waste management comprises of waste generation, collection, and disposal system, requiring a
systematic approach to understand all the components and their interactions (Seadon, 2010).
Figure 1: Stages in the process of Waste to Energy Conversion
6
1. Waste Collection: It is the transfer of solid waste from the point of use and disposal to the
end of treatment or landfill. While they can be classified as the household, commercial, industrial
wastes, etc., the scope of the study in this report will be limited to the municipal solid waste
obtained from domestic houses. Usually, waste collection and transport are a major part of waste
disposal costs, much more than landfill costs. Hence there is a high scope of optimization when
it comes to waste collection. (Nixon et al., 2017) highlighted the importance of waste collection
as one of the most significant challenges for WtE in India. Inadequate and unreliable collection
service is believed to cause the poor public engagement and concern for local participation.
2. Waste Segregation: It is the process of separating the various types of wastes in the mix
collected from the collection points which includes different kinds of materials like organic materials,
paper, plastics, metal, glass, moisture, and many others. This is a crucial step as all types of
elements in the mix are not suitable to incinerate as they release a lot of toxic pollutants and
harmful products.
3. Preliminary Treatment: Out of the waste segregated, wastes most suitable for energy
generation with right properties are selected and are subjected to further treatment where the
entire material inherits homogenous properties – optimum calorific value, lower pollutant content,
deodorized, low moisture content, etc. Excess pollutant in methane gas emissions from landfills
can be avoided through WtE technology.
Various researchers have studied several waste processing technologies to seek the best method for
developing countries. (Zakir Hossain et al., 2014) suggested using incineration as the substantial
preliminary treatment for generating energy in Bangladesh, similar with (Brunner and Rechberger,
2015), which emphasized that incineration is the most preferred technology in developing countries
in general. However, (Münster and Lund, 2010) concluded that Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a more
suitable preliminary treatment considering that MSW generated in India contains high moisture
that needs to be dried before its use. Therefore, this report combined incineration and AD as an
appropriate technology for electricity generation for India.
Figure 2: Technological Map
7
4. Pelletization: The pre-treated material is now subjected to pelletization where the raw mate-
rial obtained from preliminary treatment, which is usually in powdered form, is made into standard
or desired shapes needed by the energy incineration technology.
5. Energy Generation: The pellets are either burnt directly or co-fired with coal to convert
water to steam which in turn drives a turbine to generate electricity that is supplied to the grid.
Figure 2, represents a network map of technologies that are connected to the WtE technology
innovation. As shown in the technological map, landfills and transportation sector are crucial
for assembling and transporting MSW to WtE preliminary treatment facilities. These factors
will also be responsible for a storage management system and a control system for the waste
composition.
2.3 Stakeholders Involved
Government of India (GoI) is the main authority which governs the Policies, Procedures and In-
centives for the use of Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs). These are further implemented
and regulated by various central and state agencies. GoI sets the demand by setting the minimum
energy demand by RET through Renewable Energy Policy. The policy aims at overall develop-
ment and promotion of RETs and implementation. The policies are designed to encourage private
participation, while promoting FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) through provisions of fiscal and
financial incentives. Furthermore, the procedures are simplified to promote investment in tech-
nology upgradation, usage of new technologies and market development. GoI through Municipal
Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000 and further revision on April 8, 2016 have
notified Municipal authorities to set up waste processing and disposal facilities (Ministry of Hous-
ing and Urban Affairs, 2017). One of the salient features of the SWM rules is the directive to the
authorities to segregate waste with 1500 Kcal/kg and above for WtE plants and for co-incineration
in cement and power plants (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, 2017).
Furthermore, the Union Cabinet has approved 100% procurement of power produced from Waste to
Energy plants through amendments in Tariff Policy 2006 (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs,
2017). This amendment in the Tariff Policy is a positive step in creating a market for WtE and
for attracting investments.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) (“TERI - The Energy and Resources Institute,” n.d.)
and Research Universities like Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Indian Institute of Technologies
(IITs), participate in technology development through researches with Ministry of New and Re-
newable Energy (MNRE) (MNRE, 2016) or through independent projects. Research on policy
development and market formation can be guided with the help of Indian Institute of Management
(IIMs). TERI, IISC and IIT Mumbai are part of the task force constituted by GoI, for Waste
to Energy Projects formulated in June 5, 2013 (“Report of the Task Force on Waste to Energy (
Volume II) Annexure Planning Commission,” 2014). The task force is working on integrated waste
management and identification and assessment of WtE technologies.
Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), is a statutory body and acts as central reg-
ulator of the power sector of India. It is central body for deciding the tariffs and tariff setting
mechanism(Act, State, & Licensees, 2011). It specifies and enforces the standards through issuing
Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) for Renewable Energy Generation and provide guidelines to
State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERC)(Act et al., 2011). Respective SERC (DERC in
the case of Delhi), is responsible is the power purchase agreement (PPA) within the state with the
power generation companies and to facilitate and implement the Renewable Purchase Obligations
(RPO)(“Functions of DERC - Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission,” n.d.). DERC being a state
body comes under the State government of Delhi. SERC is responsible to promote co-generation
and generation of electricity from renewable sources of energy (Section 86(1)(e) of Electricity Act
2003 (Delhi, 2006)) while setting the minimum percentage of purchase from RES (babu, n.d.) and
by defining the terms and conditions of tariff(“Functions of DERC - Delhi Electricity Regulatory
Commission,” n.d.).
Further, approval from Central Electricity Authority (CEA) (Section 73 of (Act et al., 2011) )and
8
Figure 3: Stakeholders Map
National Green Tribunal (NGT) (for environmental clearance), is required for setting up any new
power project(No et al., 2011).
Regarding financing the projects, the GoI takes decision on policies for Foreign Direct investment
(FDI) and give suggestions to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the repo rates. Further, permission
is required from RBI to receive the FDI. Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA)
is a Public Limited Government Company to provide loans for renewable energy and energy effi-
ciencies projects(IREDA, n.d.). Further loans can be sanctioned by the Nationalised Banks and
Financial Institutions. From year 2016-2018, MNRE provided 100 M INR through Central Finan-
cial Assistance (CFA) for setting up Waste to Energy projects in Delhi (“MNRE Parliamentary
response,” n.d.).
DERC being the state electricity regulatory commission of Delhi, also acts as the power purchasing
agency(“Functions of DERC - Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission,” n.d.). DERC purchases
9
power from National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), Indraprastha Power Gener-
ation Co. Ltd. (IPGC) and from Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (Power Grid), which
manages national transmission network.
Municipality Corporation is responsible for waste collection and disposal. East Delhi Municipality
Corporation (EDMC) along with IL & FS, through Public partnership (PPP), has set up 12MW
plant compliant with Euro norms, for WtE in Ghazipur, Delhi (“IL&FS - Waste to Energy
Plant, Ghazipur,” n.d.). North Delhi Municipality Corporation (NDMC) with Ramky Group has
set up 24 MW, WtE plant through PPP at Narela-Bawana, Delhi (Sharma, 2017). Ramky Group
will share 3% of profit with the North Municipal corporation as directed by the NGT (Sharma,
2017).
Figure 3, represents the specific Stakeholders map involved in the socio-technical environment of
WtE technology in Delhi. The map shows various government and public bodies which act as pol-
icy and decision makers. On the left side, institutes which helps in the knowledge and technology
development are indicated. On the top right, technology users and entrepreneurs are indicated.
Furthermore, competitors, financing agencies and power purchasing agencies are complex interac-
tion among all the actors are indicated in the map.
2.4 Barriers & Drivers of Further Development
The adoption of Waste-to-Energy (WtE) in India has not been as successful as anticipated, and
most of plants have failed to sustain operations owing to a number of reasons that shall be discussed.
There is a lack of detailed on-the-ground research examining the causes of plant failures and the
issues regarding the WtE supply chain. The major problem with WtE in India has typically been
perceived to be inadequate source segregation (Nixon et al., 2017). The WtE industry in developed
countries is well-established in comparison to India. While issues still exist and concerns arise in
developed nations, from society – like public opposition and from technology like - high fuel gas
treatment measurements, disposal of air pollution control residues, and fouling and corrosion of
boiler heat exchanger surfaces, the most suitable technologies and processes for treating waste are
well-known. (Tabasová et al., 2012).
As explained in section 2.2 and from figure 2 from the technological map, that the significant costs
in WtE are involved in collection, transportation and segregation of wastes, this adds up to the
variable expenses included in the electricity market price at which it is sold to the consumers. As
a result, electricity generated through WtE is significantly higher than that of coal, hydro-electric
or any other sources in use. Hence, the focal point should be a low cost, efficient and a sustainable
solid waste management. Our literature study has found out a number of reasons for the failure of
waste to energy technology to continue further. The reasons are similar for Delhi as well as India
in general. First, we will discuss the causes of failure and barriers blocking the growth and will
then address the potential growth points and drivers.
Barriers: Breaking down the causes of failure
A number of WtE plants running on MSW have shut down across Delhi and India over the past few
years due to a variety of reasons. The following have been the recurring causes in a vast number
of papers studied for this report.
Kalyani and Pandey (Kalyani and Pandey, 2014) suggested that MSW plant closures have been
due to a lack of logistical planning and financing. Chattopadhyay (Chattopadhyay et al., 2009)
asserted that the significant problem with MSW in Kolkata was poor waste segregation, collection
efficiencies and recycling systems. Chattopadhyay further says that, the power companies claimed
that the incineration of MSW was not suitable in Kolkata due to the low energy content of MSW
(3350–4200 kJ/kg) and reported that a tipping fee in the region of 3900–5200 Rs./tonne would be
required to make WtE financial viable (at 2009 Rupee prices).
Further, Srivastava (Srivastava et al., 2005) carried out a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats (SWOT) analysis of MSW management in India and gathered stakeholder opinions from
government ministries, research institutions and community representatives in Lucknow. They
concluded that the weaknesses of MSW management in India were a lack of facilities, adequate
10
transportation and expertise in government. This leads to eventual piling up of one cost over
another, with the outcome being that the electricity generated from WtE is much higher than the
market price for other alternatives. As a result, WtE is only cornered for catering to peak load
hours, while, WtE has the capability to cater baseload as well.
Salman Zafar, an expert in the field of energy from MSW, explains the barriers to growth (apart
from those mentioned above) as the following (Power Today, 2016):
1. High capital and O&M costs of waste-to-energy systems,
2. Lack of indigenous technology,
3. Lack of successful projects and failure of several ambitious projects,
4. Lack of coordination between municipalities, state and central governments,
5. Heavy reliance on government subsidies,
6. Difficulties in obtaining long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with state electricity
boards (SEBs)
7. Lukewarm response of banks and financial institutions
8. Weak supply chain.
Through the FIS analysis and after detailed research we have found following barriers in addition
to what was mentioned above:
1. Lack of knowledge with the government bodies to deal with PPP (Public Private partnership)
model and to make proper conditions of contract for WtE.
2. Lack of focused approach towards WtE, leading to mismanagement of resources and high cost
of power generation through WtE.
3. Lack of awareness and public involvement.
4. Lack of motivation of buyers of power generated through WtE.
5. Lack of focused mobilization and distribution of resources for suitable infrastructure.
Drivers: Winds of change
The key to efficient waste management is to ensure proper segregation of waste at source and to
ensure that the waste goes through different streams of recycling and resource recovery. There has
been a technological advancement in processing, treatment and disposal of solid waste. Energy-
from-waste is a crucial element of SWM because it reduces the volume of waste from disposal also
helps in converting the waste into renewable energy and organic manure. Ideally, it falls in the
flow chart after segregation, collection, recycling and before getting to the landfill. But many WtE
plants in India are not operating to their full potential. (Lahiry, 2017)
Yet, Salman argues that, in the recent years, WtE has picked up momentum through a renewed
investment due to India’s Swachh Bharat Mission aimed at a cleaner environment through sus-
tainable waste management. Nowadays, advanced thermal technologies are hogging the limelight,
mainly due to better energy efficiency, high conversion rates and fewer emissions. While inciner-
ation is still the most popular waste-to-energy technology, there are serious emission concerns in
developing countries as many project developers try to cut down costs by going for less efficient
air pollution control system.
2.5 Externalities
When WtE is fully developed in India, this has impact on society. There are different socio-
economic impacts including benefits, but also safety risks due to discharged pollutants.
11
Pollution by emission
The incineration of MSW produces pollution, which is a potential health risk. However there are
prescribed safety standards by the Indian government that keep these health risks under control.
Still there are concerns about undiscovered potential effects of the combustion and long-term
effects on i.e. groundwater. Not only can people be exposed through contaminated air, but also
through skin contact with contaminated soil or dust and ingestion of foods that were grown in an
environment of a WtE plant. Since collection of waste is a big part of the price of energy from WtE,
it is desirable to have WtE plants close to populated areas. But the closer to populated areas, the
more people are exposed to these health safety risks. (World Energy Council, 2016).
Socio-economic benefits
Better waste management is a result of WtE, since the MSW is collected in cities and treated
for production of energy. Better waste management will result in better health conditions, since
risks for diseases are reduced. Nuisance caused by smell can also be reduced due to faster and
better waste collection. Less landfill sites are needed when WtE is implemented, resulting in less
nuisance by smell. An additional benefit of WtE systems is that it provides in employment. On
average 60 jobs are available at a WtE site, and 100 additional jobs outside the sector, generated
by the sector. (World Energy Council, 2016). New employment portals are created with efficient
management inside the waste regime.
12
3 Theoretical Framework Discussion
In this section, we will discuss the available frameworks for analysis of socio-technology sys-
tems.
3.1 Functions of Innovation System
The success of any new technology is not only determined by its technological characteristics but
the social system around the technology which allows it to develop, diffuse and to be implemented or
rejected by the socio-technical system also called as Technology Specific Innovation System(Negro,
Hekkert, & Smits, 2007). In the innovation system approach, the socio-technical system is anal-
ysed based on parameters, which are defined as the functions of innovation systems. The seven
functions as used in publication of Negro, Hekkert and Smits (forthcoming) are: entrepreneurial
activities, knowledge development(learning), knowledge diffusion through networks, guidance of
the search, market formation, resource mobilisation and support from advocacy coalitions. Each
of the functions are described below.
Function 1: Entrepreneurial Activities
Entrepreneurs play a major role in the innovation system and without entrepreneurs, the innovation
system would collapse. The entrepreneurs play the role to turn the potential of the new knowledge,
networks and markets into real business opportunities (Hekkert, Suurs, Negro, Kuhlmann, & Smits,
2007). Entrepreneurs could be the new entrants to the market or the incumbent companies who
tries to diversify the business, utilizing the new development. Other functions should be able to
create a conducive environment, so that entrepreneurial activities may flourish.
Function 2: Knowledge Development (learning)
According to Lundvall (1992), ‘the most fundamental resource in the modern economy is knowledge
and, accordingly, the most important process is learning’. Kamp distinguishes it into four types
of learning processes: learning by searching or R&D, as carried out in research institutes or by
companies; learning by doing, which involves improving production skills and improving production
efficiencies by the companies; learning by using the technology, as this may lead to development
of knowledge about the new technology; and learning by interacting (L. M. Kamp, 2008).
Function 3: Knowledge diffusion through networks
The network defines the structure of the innovation system. For the coordinated development of
the innovation system, it is important that, there is sufficient interaction among the actors of the
network, without which diffusion of knowledge is not possible. Timely interaction among the R&D
researchers, government, innovators and companies are important. Networks allows the policy
makers to frame policies based on recent technological developments, researches can guide their
research based on applicable policies and market demand and companies can benefit from the new
technological developments and government policies.
Function 4: Guidance of search
This function tries to categorize the progress by finding the focus of search so that all the knowledge
development, investment and resources can be focused in some specific direction. Lack of foci or
distributed focus may lead to insufficient resources for individual technological options. This is also
known as technological guidepost (Sahal, 1981), which could be identified for proven technologies.
Other example includes goals set by the government for specific target of renewable energy in the
energy mix or through enactment of regulations and standards(L. M. Kamp, 2008).
Function 5: Market Formation
Even after presence of innovators, it is difficult for the new technology to compete with the em-
bedded technologies as the market is designed to designed to support the embedded technologies.
A safe temporary market niche is required for the new technology to incubate. Government can
support by providing temporary competitive advantage by tax subsidies or minimum consumption
quotas (Negro et al., 2007).
Function 6: Mobilisation of resources
The sufficient allocation of both the financial and human capital is required to be allocated for all
the activities for further development (Negro et al., 2007).
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Function 7: Support from advocacy coalitions
It is difficult for new technology to enter the incumbent regime due to vested interests, sunk
investments, user habits, policies of the regime. So to create a safe space for the new technology,
advocacy coalition is required to counter the opposition for change and to mobilize resources in
the form of investments and subsidies(L. Kamp, Vernay, & Ravesteijn, 2010).
3.2 FIS van Alphen
The FIS van Alphen is modified version of FIS approach. It is adapted specifically to develop-
ing countries(van Alphen, Hekkert, & van Sark, 2008). The adapted model is suitable for cases
when the developing country is not capable of developing the technology domestically, may be
due to lack of resources, skilled manpower, required knowledge or technology. This is a major
change with respect to the original FIS approach which heavily focuses on Knowledge develop-
ment through Learning by searching or R&D, Learning by doing and Learning by using. Instead
of knowledge development domestically, technology transfer is presented as the suitable way for
knowledge acquisition.
The new set of functions are modified to support the technology transfer which are as follows: cre-
ating adaptive capacity, knowledge diffusion through networks, demand articulation, creation of le-
gitimacy/counteract resistance to change, resource mobilization, market formation, entrepreneurial
activities.
3.3 Strategic Niche Management
Strategic Niche Management or SNM emerged from evolutionary theories on technical change
and constructive technology assessment (CTA). “Evolutionary theories on technical change acts as
research model to understand and explain the process of technological change , while the CTA acts
as a policy tool to provide insights into steering or managing this process”(Raven, 2005). SNM
focuses on creation of niches or protected socio-technical environment for the new technologies to
incubate, allowing the growth of new technologies through experimentation and learning (Eijck &
Romijn, 2006). The three processes required for the niche development are: voicing and shaping
expectations, network formation and learning processes, which are explained as below:
Voicing and shaping expectations
As the actors may have different visions and different expectations from the technology, which may
or may not be reasonable. So the first step is to shape the expectations to become more robust
and specific and based on the results of the experiments. This improves the quality of expectations
and improves the chances of success of the niche development(Raven, 2005).
Network formation
The second step SNM involves creation of the network of actors. The major actors of the network
includes researchers, manufacturers, governmental organisations, users, regulators, civil society
organisations, and others, based on the specific circumstances (Eijck & Romijn, 2006). These actors
play the role to “sustain the development, carry expectations and articulate new requirements and
demands”(Raven, 2005) and for this regular interactions among actors are required. The important
characteristics of networks are the network composition and the alignment of actors’ activities
(Raven, 2005).
Learning processes
Learning processes plays key role in SNM while designing experiments to learn various aspects
like improvement in technological processes, selection of the technology out of multiple options,
bringing the cost down etc. The learning could be of the first order or the second order. The
first order learning is defined as learning about the technology, their effectiveness to reach the
goals and to verify the norms and regulations supporting them. Second order learning deals with
questioning the underlying norms and assumptions and finding out methods to change them(Raven,
2005).
Furthermore, dynamic interaction among these three processes are required for successful creation
and success of the niche.
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3.4 Multi Level Perspective
Multilevel can be seen as a hierarchy, a system composed of a number of levels, where each level is
arranged in an “above-below” relation. Perspective is a point of view or a particular way of regarding
something. In real life, a multilevel perspective can be referred as an art of understanding a system
as to give the right interpretation of every elements level in relation to each other. Same goes in
a transition towards sustainability, a person should be able to understand the overall dynamic
patterns from the subsystems and the correlation between each system.
What makes a transition towards sustainability different from other changes is because the goal for
this sustainability is purely related to public goods (Geels, 2011). Often they do not provide direct
benefits for consumers and make less significant impacts compared to existing systems (Geels,
2011). A multilevel perspective is an essential tool for researchers to address the multi-dimensional
interactions between trajectories, regimes, niches, path interdependencies and historical trends. In
this section, we will refer the multi-level perspective framework from applied theories of previous
researchers (Geels, 2011, 2002; Raven, 2005).
Figure 4: Multi Level Perspective on Transitions
(Geels, 2002) has introduced a three-level model of transitions as shown in Figure 4. The S-
curve based transition path starts in niches, expanding into socio-technical regimes and eventually
becoming one of the elements of the broad context of the socio-technical landscape. Each of the
three-analytical level has its own configuration: ‘higher’ levels being more stable than the ‘lower’
levels.
On the first level, the level of niches, actors can do experiments to create the desired innovation
within a protected environment. These measures have to be taken to ensure that new technologies
can develop through experiments carried by the actors. Since there is insufficient dominant design,
radical experiments are conducted with all efforts for all directions (Geels, 2002). The radical inno-
vations, represented as small and numerous arrows, will eventually start to stabilise and generate
one single arrow. It can be seen from the figure, the single arrow represents a dominant design
that emerge from conducted experiments. It will enter the socio-technological regime by taking
advantage of various opportunities. This newly discovered technology does not necessarily mean
15
they will replace existing technologies. They are able to combine in either the former or later
domain, or they may also fuse and make a third domain (Raven, 2005).
Moving on from the technological niche, the second level is called socio-technical regimes. The
measures that have to be taken in this level is to create dynamic rules and where actors and the
technical system can implement them to provide more stability to the technological development
(Raven, 2005). Once established, a new socio-technical regime will contribute as a part of changes
on the landscape level (Geels, 2002).
The socio-technical landscape is a set of structural trends and heterogeneous factors, such as;
global oil prices, availability of natural resources, and worldwide political decisions (Raven, 2005).
The landscape is impossible for local actors to change. Nevertheless, it may change from other
externalities such as the dynamics at the landscape level in both long-term and sudden events can
put pressure on regimes and changes in the second level will arise (Raven, 2005). The fluctuating
trend will establish new opportunities for new technologies. Hence these three levels cannot be
views as an individual element.
3.5 Choosing the Right Approach
In section, we will discuss the above mentioned frameworks by applying them to WtE and to see
which one works and why.
FIS van Alphen, while talking about most of the FIS in a similar fashion, does have some limita-
tions. For example, Klaas van Alphen (van Alphen et al., 2008) explains that his system approach
starts from the position that a specific well-functioning Innovation system needs to be in place be-
fore any technology transfer can be successful. He further elaborates the functions. For instance,
in function 1, van Alphen explains that creating adaptive capacity (human, organizational and
institutional) is one of the key functions of IS. In order to create it, he mentions in function 2
that besides training and workshops it is important to recognize and strengthen the participatory
approach.
In this way for all the 7 functions, it can be found that India (Delhi, in this particular case) does not
fit this method. This is because not only are the necessary systems already in place, but also there
is sufficient human and institutional capital to tackle with the issues. Hence it can be concluded
from these arguments that FIS van Alphen is not the ideal approach to study WtE.
While WtE is already an existing technology in place throughout India, its adoption is slow. Yet
it competes with the existing technologies in the Energy regime, viz., electricity from coal, solar
PV, hydro-electricity, etc. Hence, the slow adoption, as explained above is due to the economics
of waste regime and therefore requires a detailed approach to study various agents and networks
involved. Hence, SNM approach is not suitable to explain the WtE system.
Beyond the power generation technology, WtE involves a large number of actors with different
roles and interests to play. With this, it becomes a highly complex network of socio-technical
system that has to be analyzed based on the technology specific innovation function or otherwise
FIS. This technology requires the combination of FIS and socio-technical systems approach. Ac-
cording to Carlsson and Stankiewicz (Carlsson, Bo and Stankiewz, 1995), a TSIS is a dynamic
network of agents interacting in a specific economic/industrial area under a particular institutional
infrastructure and involved in the generation, diffusion and utilization of technology.
Understanding the Complexity of the System
The development of Waste to Energy in India can be divided into 2 regimes - Waste Regime and
Energy Regime (which shall be discussed in detail in the next chapter). While the latter, Energy
regime, is well developed with all of the FIS functions already in place, the Waste regime is yet
to develop to the level of the latter. The main activities involved in waste regime broadly include
waste collection and segregation. Around the world, major urban centers have evolved with a
number of models specific to their own needs and requirements to tackle the issue of Municipal
Solid Waste Management (MSWM). Let us discuss this approach with respect to the scope of this
report.
16
The following are the two key issues to be tackled with respect to MSW in the Waste Regime.
1. Waste Collection
2. Waste segregation
Both of the above mentioned are still at an underdeveloped niche level, with continuous experi-
menting by the local level municipality. While they comprise the primary components in the waste
regime they are yet to be developed to the full scale required to make WtE an economically feasible
option, as it is currently not at the given moment in India. Countries like Sweden and Norway have
evolved with a highly specialized niche management in this regard. As a matter of fact, Sweden’s
recycling system is so sophisticated that only less than 1% of its household waste has been sent to
landfill in 2015 (PTI, n.d.). Further, Sweden is known to import high energy waste from UK to
keep the operations of their WtE plants running – where they not only generate electricity but also
energy for heating purposes. Perhaps, one can even question the sustainability of this endeavor
albeit from a different angle.
Hence, this brings us to the Main Research Question: What are the reasons for the slow pace of
adoption of WtE? The answer lies in the economics of India’s MSWM. Which approach can help
answer this question? Applying FIS can help us understand the above mentioned two regimes
through the understanding of the various functions in FIS. FIS allows us to study these regimes
from the point of view of the following factors:
1. Policies and Legislation
2. Role of public sector
3. Role of private sector
4. Integrating informal sector
5. Role of community members
6. Financial mechanisms and networks
For example, factor 1 can be linked to function 7, factors 3 and 6 can be understood through
function 1, all the above factors can be explained in function 5. Hence, from the arguments
presented, understanding WtE through FIS is the most plausible approach.
3.6 Table of Indicators
17
Table 1: Table of Indicators (Kamp and Prent, 2009)
Function Indicator
Function 1: Entrepreneurial Activities
Companies - their sizes/turnover
Niche projects/experiments
Companies entering/exiting the Innovation System
Function 2: Knowledge Development
Learning by Searching
Patents
Research Projects
Scientific Papers
Learning by doing
Products produced
Niche Products
Learning by using
Users
Niche Projects
Function 3: Knowledge diffusion
Conferences
Seminars
Joint Research Projects
Quality of formal & informal contacts between different actors
Function 4: Guidance of Search
Goals
Policy Programs
Technological best practices (Examples)
Function 5: Market Formation
Market size
Market characteristics (niche or broader)
Availability of market subsidies
Motivation for Buyers
Function 6: Mobilization of resources
Kinds of Financial Resources
Physical resources
Human resources (research personnel & skilled labour)
Function 7: Creation of Legitimacy
Public opinion of the technology
Amount of resistance in regime (existence of advocacy coalitions)
Lobbying activities by Members for financial and political support
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4 Framework Analysis: WtE
This chapter applies the chosen framework, FIS along with MLP to explain the WtE system in
Delhi and India.
4.1 Applying FIS to WtE
In previous chapter, we have explained two significant approaches in developing a niche technology,
SNM and FIS approach. This section will discuss more about how the FIS framework can be applied
to answer the main research question, none other than to explain the slow pace of adoption of Waste
to Energy technology in India. FIS approach together with MLP are found to be the best approach
to analyze the Waste to Energy innovation system in India, in which involves a large number of
actors with various interests and a complex network of a socio-technical system.
4.1.1 Framework Analysis
The 7 functions are discussed as follows.
Function 1: Entrepreneurial Activities
Certain projects in WtE came up in 1994 and 1996 and closed down due to the same reasons
as explained above. Since urban centres were the largest waste generating centers, all the WtE
plants came up in the urban centres, but were located at the outer part of the city, away from the
residential locations and closer to the dumpyard sites. The same can be observed in the cities of
Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune. Most of the early WtE plants that came up were initiatives
of the respective municipalities of the cities. Later on, few attempts were made along with Public
Private Partnership (P-P-P) route. Most of the WtE plants set up had Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)
units from which the waste was converted into a viable fuel, either in the form of liquid (that treated
liquid municipal waste/sludge) or MSW that was converted into pellets of fuel.
It was found in one of the Indian parliamentary proceedings about the level of private sector
participation in the sector of Waste to Energy and if the Government is satisfied with its response
and performance, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) said "So far, the private
sector has participated in a limited manner with only a few agencies active in the sector. As
private sector has come in as PPP partner, the performance of the project becomes a joint/united
effort. The PPP arrangements need not be seen as single-responsibility contracts but treated as
real partnerships between the local Govt. and the private sector." (MNRE Report to Lok Sabha
on MSW, 2016)
Table 2 shown below has a list of WtE plants that are currently operational and upcoming. One
observation here is the shifting trend towards the private ownership. This private entrepreneur
engagement is a welcome step and is also feasible for the government in the long run. The 12MW
Ghazipur WtE plant in Delhi mentioned in the list got operational in October 2016. This plant
was developed by private infrastructure developer IL&FS (Goswami, 2016). The Narela-Bawana
WtE plant, built by Ramky Group, again near Delhi, got operational recently in 2017 (Sharma,
2017). It is currently the largest WtE plant in India with 24MW power generation capacity. A
48MW WtE plant by the same developer, Ramky Group, which is in the pipeline in the city of
Hyderabad will be the largest WtE plant once completed.
WtE development in India runs on a ‘build-operate-transfer’ model (Kumar et al., 2017a). Build
– operate – transfer (BOT) is a form of project financing, wherein a private entity receives a
concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct, own, and operate a
facility stated in the concession contract. After the contract period, the project is transferred to
the local municipality (in the given case).
To boost the entrepreneurial activities, Union Cabinet has approved 100% procurement of power
generated through WtE, however, as the waste management and WtE are dealt separately, the
cost of power generation is INR 12/KWh, however the feed in tariff for electricity through WtE is
fixed at INR 6/KWh (Planning Commission, 2014). Due this the major cost factors which comes
19
Table 2 Current operational and upcoming WtE plants in India along with the infrastructure
developer/companies
Source: Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi
from the waste segregation and collection goes out of the domain of WtE entrepreneurs, making it
difficult for them to bring the cost of power down. This further de-motivates, entrepreneurs and
investors.
As explained in earlier sections, the track record of waste-to-energy in India highlights a number
of the difficulties. There are steps taken by the government to create a suitable market for the
entrepreneurs and sufficient entrepreneurs are available, however the market still offers many diffi-
culties like operational, management and institutional problems which needs to be resolved.
Table 3 below shows the list of WtE plants with RDF facilities that were started and closed down
their operations. It can be seen that while technological feasibility is proven, making the system
economically viable has not been successful clearly. There are no WtE plants that have withstood
the test of time for at least a decade to study their business models.
Table 3 WtE plants shutdown in the past
20
Function 2: Knowledge development
India has been persistently trying and experimenting to recover energy out of a huge amount of
waste that the country produced every year. However, throughout the journey, some experiments
and projects have failed due to various reasons, mainly focusing on the absence of policy framework
and insufficient financial assistance. In order to explain the development of knowledge, the indica-
tors used are divided by three phases, from experience gained by learning by searching, gained by
21
Table 4 WtE research carried out in India (Ebtc, 2011)
learning by doing and lastly by learning by using.
Under Swachh Bharat Mission, or Clean India Mission (in English), the Government of India is
determined to aim a cleaner sanitation level in each city in which they are including processing and
disposal of municipal solid waste as one of the mission’s parameter (Henam, 2017). Therefore, waste
to energy technology cannot be categorized in its earliest phase of introduction to the market. The
Swacch Bharat national program has driven a number of corporate social responsibility initiatives
and research projects (Henam, 2017). Table 4 shows the status of development that has been
done on waste processing treatment and evolved into a patented research through learning by
searching.
Waste-to-energy projects have attracted special attention from not only the central government
but also public interests. Companies started to learn by using and implementing the research’s
outcome in table 4, and improve the production skills as well as the efficiencies. The improvement
mainly focusing on integrating waste management and power generation from MSW. In table 5,
the institution in India which produce the niche technologies in relevant areas are listed.
Table 5 Produced Technologies of WtE in India (Nixon et al., 2017a)
22
Behind mentioned niche innovations that successfully enter the market, several large scale waste
processing power plants met failure, for instance RDF plants that was commissioned in 1999 in
India solely due to the absence of source segregation and lack of financial support (Kalyani and
Pandey, 2014). The initial failures of the technology has taught valuable knowledge to users fur
better technology planning and management.
Research institutes have limited affiliation with the government and work independently. Only
TERI University shares a collaboration work between the government and the institution for
providing a scientific point of view. A lack of industrial scale experiments from other institution,
for instance IIT Delhi who claims to be the centre for rural development and technology, has led
in insufficient transfer knowledge to implement WtE on a national scale. However, there is an
opportunity for WtE development in the near future, under Swacch Bharat Mission, and through
the affiliation between Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and minister for Environment,
Forests and Climate Change. Both parties should be aware of and fund the current research
being carried out, also the projects from companies, for example the National Thermal Power
Corporation Limited (NTPC), to implement WtE in national level.
Function 3: Knowledge diffusion through networks
An exchange of information among actors of the network is essential as a learning process to
improve the success chances of the niche development. In India, the knowledge diffusion between
research institutes has been well established. One of the significant affiliation is between TERI and
the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the Ministry of Environment and Forests
(MoEF), and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, whose focus area is waste management (Kalyani
and Pandey, 2014). MNRE has been constantly promoting waste to energy technology innovations
in the form of trainings, workshops and financial assistance. MoEF together with the municipal
corporation acts further deal with local counselling to ensure proper MSW collection, segregation
and processing facilities (Kalyani and Pandey, 2014).
Current waste to energy technology companies are either start-ups or small and medium social en-
terprises, with very few companies from overseas. However, there are several international annual
conference takes place in India since 2011. One of the example is the EU-India matchmaking con-
ference which is coordinated by European business and technology centre, in collaboration with
Energy Alternatives India (EAI) (Ebtc, 2011). This international event aims to create connec-
tions and transfer technologies knowledge between European and Indian companies in the energy,
environment and sustainable transport sectors. Another example of multi-nation cooperation is
forming of Waste to Energy Research and Technology Council (WTERT) in India (Waste to En-
ergy Research & Technology Council, 2015). This technology council is set up by The Earth
Engineering Center (EEC) at Columbia University, collaborated with the National Environmental
Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). An international brainstorming session is held annually,
obliging attendance from every municipal official to diffuse knowledge and encourage sustainable
waste management to local government.
Function 4: Guidance of search
This function tries to categorise the progress by finding the focus of search so that all the knowl-
edge development, investment and resources can be focused in some specific direction. Focus on
knowledge development has been discussed in point 2.2 Knowledge Development.
Here we will discuss about the focus of investment and resource allocations. One of the major areas
which is required to be streamlined to motivate waste to energy is the support system for waste
segregation. Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) aims to achieve Clean India by October 2019, with
one of the focus areas as solid waste management. Government of India through notification dated
April 8, 2016 on Solid Waste Management Rules 2016, have notified to identified waste generators
and authorities to segregate waste of 1500 Kcal/kg and above for Waste to Energy plants, and for
co-incineration in cement and power plants (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, 2017). Under
this mission, multiple campaigns were launched by the Central Government and segregation at
source campaign was also launched in the year 2017, covering 4,041 statutory towns and cities
(Henam, 2017).
Central Government aimed to setup 493.7 MW of Waste to Energy plants in the Country by
23
2016-17, however a total of 88.4 MW generation capacity could be achieved by September 2017
(Henam, 2017). However, specific targets like inclusion of waste to energy in the energy mix
through enactment of any regulations or recommendation by the Central or Delhi Government is
not available.
Function 5: Market Formation
The potential of Waste to Energy in India is high. In the urban areas 62 million tonnes of MSW
is produced. This waste has a potential capacity of 439 MW through WtE plants. WtE is still
applied at relatively small scale and therefore we can say it is a technological niche and a relatively
new technology in the energy market. (Chandra, n.d.) The energy market is a big market in India,
with a total capacity of approximately 331000 MW, consisting of different technologies, such as
coal, gas and diesel powered plants, and different renewable sources.
New technologies can often not directly compete with existing technologies, due to higher costs
of the new technology. These costs can become lower in time, when the technology is brought to
the society and innovated and made better. The technology needs time to grow to a competing
technology. Since market forces on a normal competitive market ensure that it is not possible for a
new technology to compete with existing technologies, a different market has to be made to make
this possible.
Waste to Energy in India is not supported enough to make it survive in the long run. As stated
before, there are no WtE plants that have withstood the test of time for at least a decade. The
biggest cost in the production of energy from waste is the waste collection. In Europe it is common
to pay a price per ton for WtE plants to buy MSW. These prices sometimes reach around 100
euros per ton of MSW. In India WtE plants do not have a fixed or regulated pricing structure to
take the MSW and sometimes have to collect the MSW incurring additional costs. This lack of a
gate fee makes it impossible to survive in the electricity production market.
Function 6: Mobilization of resources
Through this function we try to find, if there is sufficient allocation of both the financial and human
capital for all the activities for further development and use of the technology (Negro, Hekkert, &
Smits, 2007).
As already stated in the ‘Guidance of search’ that the Central Government has launched campaign
for segregation of waste at source, however, no substantial progress has been made in this direction
(Henam, 2017). Regarding resource allocation “MNRE is providing Central Financial Assistance
(CFA) for setting up of Waste to Energy projects. In addition, the Ministry of Housing and Urban
Affairs is implementing “Swachh Bharat Mission” (SBM) which also provides support for setting
up of waste to energy plants up to 35% of the project cost in the form of Viability Gap Funding
(VGF) / grant, subject to the overall state-wise funds envelop for SBM”[(MNRE, 2017)].
In the year 2016-17, the total Central allocation to SWM under SBM was 6331.4 Million In-
dian Rupees (M INR) and for the duration 2014-2017(August), it was 21262.3 M INR (Henam,
2017). However, Delhi received 0 INR for 2016-17 and a total of 631.1 M INR since 2014 (MNRE,
2017).
Through Central Financial Assistance (CFA) provided by the Ministry of New and Renewable
Energy (MNRE), Delhi received a total of 100 M INR since 2014 (MNRE, 2017) . Considering
that the project cost of 24MW WtE plant by M/s Ramky Group at Narela-Bawana, New Delhi
was 4580 M INR (Damini Nath, 2017), and 2400 M INR for 16 MW WtE plant by M/s Jindal
Urban Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. at Okhla ,New Delhi (Sruthijith KK, n.d.), disbursement of above
mentioned financial assistance through Central Government (CFA) could hardly make any positive
impact in adoption of WtE.
Function 7: Support from advocacy coalitions
When a new technology is introduced to a market, existing actors in the regime of the market
are confronted with this unknown technology. To be able to enter a market it is important for a
new technology that the market and the regime of the market accept the new technology. The
public should for instance accept the technology. Nowadays awareness of greenhouse gases and our
influence on global warming make that the public is becoming more in favour of renewable energy
24
and less in favour of fossil fueled power plants. The regime is changing and it could be that fossil
fueled power plants are eventually not anymore accepted in the energy market.
Since the production of waste is so big in India, WtE is a solution for the accumulation of waste
at land sites. WtE makes waste valuable and improves the collection of garbage. In big cities, this
helps keeping the streets clean and diseases away, which are caused by bad hygiene as a result of
waste accumulation on the streets.
Even though,WtE provides major social and environmental benefits, however, the air pollution
caused by the incineration of MSW is a potential health risk for the local communities around the
WtE plants. Hence, the public have a mixed opinion about implementation of WtE.
The Government of India (GoI) has taken positive steps to create a support coalitions for WtE.
Union Cabinet’s approval of 100% procurement of power from Waste to Energy plants, will act
as a backbone for investors and entrepreneurs and an obligation for the power purchasers. The
institution of task force by GoI, shall also create a support group of actors to further develop and
implement WtE. The Swacch Bharat Mission, which is aimed at a cleaner environment and shall
also open market for WtE.
From the community’s perspective, Srivastave et al investigated the strengths and the weaknesses
in municipal solid waste management in a specific city in India. (Srivastava et al., 2005) They say
that in WtE sector there are several groups that help in pushing WtE in the market. Community
based organizations and non-governmental organizations are presenting WtE to the public at an
accessible way. Also active community participation is important and this is mainly addressed by
enthusiastic youths and eventually done by housewives, senior citizens and students. Weaknesses
are also the public apathy and the community’s non-willingness to cooperate and participate. This
is mainly because of limited environmental awareness, education and attitudes among the society.
Also Srivastave et al address that there is a lack of information and education about WtE. Since
waste collection and segregation is a big cost of WtE, it is important to really implement WtE in
the society, to bring the cost of collection and segregation down.
Figure 5: Positive Feedback Loops
4.1.2 Explaining Feedback Loops
Each function describes its own role of the innovation system. In this sense, F2 and F3 represent
the key indicators for a successful technology, considering they can describe how the knowledge is
25
developed and established overtime, until it can enter a large-scale diffusion. It is also important to
take additional factors into account, for instance F4 can describe the objective of a research.
Figure 2 represents the positive feedback loops of all the functions. The blue lines indicate impact
in one way in the directed of arrow, while the red lines indicate the two way impacts of the factors
pointed. The FIS framework is able to include a loop in a function, where these functions are
able to strengthen each other, or what Hekkert, 2007 call by a positive feedback loop. They are
called the motors of innovation, and this lead to function 2, knowledge of development, function
4, guidance of search and function 6, the mobilization of resources. Through government funding
and R&D subsidies, the knowledge development will increase, and it will support entrepreneurial
activities. Support from advocacy coalition will also lead to a firmer market formation, and thus
can support more entrepreneurial activities.
4.2 Regime Analysis
The following section explains the regimes involved in WtE. This complex socio technical system
has to be studied from 2 perspectives. One, of waste regime and the other, energy regime.
4.2.1 Waste Regime
Every day, urban India generates more than 188500 tonnes of MSW, which is 68.8 million tonnes
per year. Annepu (Annepu, 2013) explains that waste generation increases by 50% every decade.
Part of this will be recovered by a swarming army of informal recyclers and ragpickers - 20% in
large cities according to the Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group and less in smaller
cities. However, while this informal sector plays a major role in collecting and processing waste,
more than 80% reaches open dumpsites where it causes damaging public health, deteriorating the
environment, and causes climate change (Annepu, 2013). This is a visible connection from the
waste regime to a climate change landscape.
Figure 6: Sustainable Waste management hierarchy (Source: Ministry of Housing and Urban Af-
fairs, 2017)
26
From the Swachh Bharat Campaign (Clean India Mission), India has developed and is in the pro-
cess of adoption of the philosophy of waste management as shown in the figure 6 above.
The waste regime is characterized by the following features.
Scale: With increasing waste, finding landfill space will keep getting harder especially, in and
around India’s urban centres. The list of reasons includes Locally Unwanted Land Uses (LULUs)
like waste management or installation of large solar parks, the increasing population density and
the scale of increasing urban sprawl, and most importantly, the track record of inadequate dumpsite
operations and maintenance in India. Dumpsites in almost all cities currently handle more waste
than they are allowed to. Therefore, reducing the amount of waste that goes to dumpsites at a
scale that can make a difference is of a high priority.
Informal Recycling Sector: Increasing source separation, by employing the underutilized infor-
mal sector for door-to-door collection, will make waste homogenous and avoid the need for MBT
thereby avoiding costs. Majority of waste handling in some areas is done by informal sector.
Capacity Availability: The informal sector could be integrated into the formal system by training
and employing waste pickers to conduct door-to-door collection of wastes and allowing them to sell
the recyclables they collect. In some Indian cities, the informal recycling sector is the first readily
available tool to improve SWM through reliable work and schedules.
Data and Awareness: Lack of this important aspect impacts every aspect of India’s waste
management industry. There is no other reliable data other than that of the National Environ-
mental and Engineering Research Institute’s (NEERI) survey, performed eight years ago, about
waste composition and generation in 59 cities. Owing to this about quantity, composition, calorific
value and seasonal variations of MSW, municipalities find it difficult to come up with a struc-
tured response. This could also be attributed to the failures of many first generation (1960s to
1990s) and second-generation waste management facilities (2000). Thus, it continues to impact
the scope of current projects and also endangers the financing and regulatory policy – for example,
on, preferential tariffs, tipping fees, or risk and profit sharing. (Bhada-Tata, 2010)
4.2.2 Energy Regime
The existing energy regime is characterized by a very strong dominance of fossil based energy
sources across the country with pockets of places supporting emerging sustainable technologies.
While this is a far cry from the future the country aspires to reach, the ground realities are that
still a significant section of the population has no access to energy - be it for cooking, working,
or any other activity of their life. They still rely on traditional wood burning through inefficient
methods polluting the air and ruining their health. While India promised to address this situation
along with the challenge of incorporating renewables in its energy mix, there is a long way to go
to break the dominance of the existing regime and create a new one.
The energy consumption in India is growing faster than in any other country. (“Wiki India,” n.d.).
Electricity in India is generated in different ways. The main energy source is coal, of which India
has large reserves of around 200 billion tons and is therefore the cheapest. (“Wiki Energy in India,”
n.d.). Coal fired power plants are competing with WtE. All other power sources used in India to
produce electricity are competing technologies to WtE technology. The different sources are listed
in the table below.
Table 6 Installed capacity per electricity source in India, (CEA, n.d.)
Source Coal Gas Diesel Nuclear Hydro Small Hydro Wind Biomass WtE Solar Total
Capacity (MW) 193426 25150 837 6780 44765 4389 32700 8182 114 14771 331118
Of these different energy sources, coal, nuclear, wind and hydropower are the cheapest. WtE is
(still) relatively expensive. (IEA, 2015).
While coal fired power plants can be seen as a competing technology, coal as an energy source
can also be used as a co-worker in electricity generation together with MSW. MSW and coal can
27
be burned together to produce electricity. Adding MSW to the coal will make the electricity
generation more sustainable.
The lobbies for oil are very strong. THe largest private entity is Reliance Industries Limited whose
Reliance Petroleum is the largest oil and energy company by revenues (“Top 10 Private Companies
in India – WELLSinvest,” n.d.). Incidentally its CEO, Mukesh Ambani, is India’s richest man for
a consecutive fifth time (“India’s 100 Richest People List,” 2017). While the entire transportation
is dominated by oil, the case with electricity is that as can be seen from the table above, fossil
based sources take a lions share of more than 70%.
Since the past few years, coal prices have seen a downward trend in India. Further, the change
in the government in 2014 brought a new shift in the working of India’s largest coal supplier,
Coal India Limited. The mining of coal has been on the rise and increased supply have further
lowered the prices and yet the consumption has gone up. The same is the case with oil where
the global crude oil prices have only been seeing a downward trend for the past few years. These
trends explain that their consumption is only slated to rise further, giving a stiff competition to
renewable sources within the energy regime.
Hence the question is this: How is a new regime created amidst the dominance of such strong
fossil fuel based regime? Is it created by breaking the barriers of the current one or by slowly
incorporating the new one into the old one, till the metamorphosis is complete? While there is
no black and white answer at this moment, the trend seems to be a mix of both. Due to the
availability of more than one type of renewable energy sources, the energy regime is expected to
have a bombardments of such slow transitions in the short and the long term.
4.3 Landscape Analysis
On the landscape front, there are several factors that can either directly or indirectly affect both
the waste and energy regimes along with the WtE niche which is slowly developing presently.
a. India is leading strong movements on climate change across the world. One of the foremost
ones is the capping it’s emissions so as to honour the commitments made in 2015 at CoP 21 in
Paris (Union Environment Ministry, 2015). In order to achieve it, India needs to make many
amends to its existing energy mix by cutting down its reliance from power through coal. And
this has to be replaced by renewable energy sources like solar, wind, biomass, and others. And
this has to be accomplished without compromising on the energy needs of the current and future
population.
b. India has realized the benefits offered by decentralized energy sources, which, more or less are
possible through sources like solar and biomass. Not only can this solve energy poverty, but can
also provide employment in rural as well as urban areas. Hence to promote this efforts are being
made to promote various schemes spanning agriculture, manufacturing, food production, water,
and energy that can greatly improve socio economic standards of people. For example, integrating
the informal rag pickers and waste collection community in the main framework, promoting rural
entrepreneurship, etc.
c. Waste management has become an increasingly problematic issue on various fronts. Alarming
issue is that of the impact on the public health. Disease, air pollution due to landfill fires and water
pollution due to leachate from dumpsites happen because of the presence of organic materials and
carbon compounds in the waste.
d. There has been a significant rise of public awareness on the topics of climate change, energy
efficiency, problems of inappropriate waste disposal, increasing health consciousness and others
due to the rise of popular media, corporate events, product marketing methods, etc. This is
an important driving factor in terms of the push from the people towards to policy makers and
politicians to address the new set of demands from the now vigilant citizenry.
e. Government projects aimed at bringing social inclusion of various communities and increasing
community responsibility on the liabilities are also changing the behavioral dynamics of the people.
Swachh Bharat Mission, Digital India, PDDUV (Electricity for all) are some of the projects which
are giving rise to new forms of societal movements.
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5 Conclusion
Looking back at the initial research questions, we address the slow pace of adoption of waste to
energy technology in India from various angles.
1. What is the most suitable approach for studying the dynamics of this technology?
The approach of functions of innovation system (FIS) fits best to addressing this problem. WtE
is not a new technology for India and India has all the required financial and skilled manpower
to implement the technology, so FIS was found to be more suitable to address this problem. FIS
further allows us to study both waste and energy regimes at the same time from the point of view
of each sector, community members and networks.
2. What are the incumbent technologies in the regime? What is the level of competition?
From the literature review conducted regarding technological factors, WtE innovation faces main
challenges involved in collection, transportation and segregation of wastes. Waste segregation is a
crucial step of this technology, because not all elements in the mix are suitable to incinerate as they
are able to produce toxic pollutants and harmful products. Better waste management will result
in better health conditions, since risks for diseases are reduced. Answering research subquestion
about competing technology in the energy regime, coal fired power plants in India can be seen as
a competing technology. However, with recent innovation, coal can also be used as a co-worker
in electricity generation together with MSW. MSW and coal can be burned together to produce
electricity, making the generation more sustainable.
3. Who are the major/ relevant actors/ influencers involved in the process?
The major and relevant actors involved in the process can be answered from the stakeholders map.
The absence of supportive policies has stalled the development of waste to energy technology in
India, being accounted for the failures of first generation WtE innovation. Government of India and
Municipality are major actors which can contribute in making changes at the institutional, policy
and implementation level and in creating a suitable market for entrepreneurs. However, there is an
opportunity for WtE development in the near future, under Swacch Bharat Mission, and through
the affiliation between Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and minister for Environment,
Forests and Climate Change. Both parties should be aware of and fund the current research being
carried out, it is time to build strong connectivity with companies to conduct survey-based research
along with conducting workshops to raise awareness.
4. What is the current legislation and policy framework in place?
Cabinet’s approval of 100% procurement of WtE energy, inclusion of feed in tariff, funding through
Viability Gap Fund (VGF) under Swachh Bharat Mission and Central Financial assistance through
MNRE have created a support system for WtE. However, implementation is still hindered due to
structural faults and separation of waste management and WtE. Major cost comes from the waste
segregation and collection, which brings the cost of electricity generated to INR 12/KWh, however
the fixed tariff by government is INR 6/KWh for WtE. As the waste segregation and collection
goes out of domain of WtE, it becomes difficult to make WtE viable. Furthermore, the tipping fee
as fixed by the government at INR 300, is insufficient and many times not paid by the Municipality.
Hence, legislation and policy framework are present but they are not focused and insufficient.
5. What are the roadblocks/bottlenecks involved in the process? The additional major roadblocks
involved in the process are: a) Lack of knowledge with the government bodies to deal with PPP
(Public Private partnership) model and to make proper conditions of contract for WtE. b) Lack
of focused approach towards WtE, leading to mismanagement of resources and high cost of power
generation through WtE. c) Lack of awareness and public involvement. d) Lack of motivation
of buyers of power generated through WtE. e) Lack of focused mobilization and distribution of
resources for suitable infrastructure.
Finally, it can be learned that the regimes involved in WtE are complex socio technical in nature
and can be understood by using multilevel approach by van Geels. It also tell that WtE should be
considered as a part of waste regime and energy regime. As the technology is already developed,
there is still a room for improving appropriate methods from waste collection to disposal, training
29
for professionals, and improving accountability in current SWM systems. These factors lay within
the waste regime itself which are outside the scope of WtE and energy regime. Hence, these can
be integrated with the energy regime.
On the landscape front, there are several factors that can affect both the waste and energy regimes
along with the WtE niche. Nowadays awareness of climate change and public health issues cause
the public to become more in favour of renewable energy and less in favour of fossil fuelled power
plants. The regime is changing and it could be that fossil fuelled power plants are eventually not
anymore accepted in the energy market. Moreover, the commitments made at CoP 21 in Paris will
push India’s government towards a more sustainable future. When this has been accomplished,
WtE will become an important player in the circular economy of India.
To conclude, it can be understood why the WtE technology is being adopted at a slow pace in India,
however, full deployment of WtE is possible, given Government’s and policy support system are at
place. However, further improvement is required to bring the Public and Private bodies together,
through better organizational structures, which would lead to proper allocation of resources and
their focused contributions for the adoption of WtE; while doing improvements in the waste regime
which are currently outside the energy regime.
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6 Reflections & Recommendations
6.1 Primary Recommendations
The main challenges involved in making WtE technology a success in India are coming from within
the regime itself and also from outside the regime. The most important challenge is bringing the
cost of energy from WtE down to the cost of energy of competitive energy sources, like energy of
coal-fired power plants. Within the regime important factors to achieve this cost reduction are in
optimizing the waste collection and waste segregation system.
The process of collecting waste, segregating the waste that can be incinerated, and making this
waste usable in the WtE plant are together the biggest share of the total price of energy from
WtE. Relatively much effort has to be done in terms of labour and in using mechanics in these
processes. Outthinking the whole process of waste in cities in India could make waste collection
more efficiently. Outside the regime of WtE, public awareness is an important factor in the success
of these processes. If people would separate waste themselves, these different wastes (plastics,
biodegradable waste, etc.) could be collected by municipalities. This would make the process of
waste segregation less expensive. This could be combined with state-of-the-art waste separation
technology, like being used in the Netherlands. This technology makes it possible to automatically
scan the types of waste running over conveyor belts and separating this waste with fast airstreams
to different waste categories. Small financial incentives can help making people separate their
waste.
Processes of this kind are not changed in short time, therefore WtE will still be more expensive
than other technologies in the short term. The massive production of waste in India is calling for
WtE, since landfill sites are growing. In the coming years the government of India should financially
support WtE, by either giving WtE plants a fixed price per amount of waste they use to provide
in energy or by so-called feed-in tariffs. Feed-in tariffs result in more willingness to invest in WtE,
due to less investment risks. Correct feed-in tariffs will result in a lot more investment in WtE
and long-term business cases. Fixed prices per amount of waste given to WtE plants will result
in higher incomes and therefore smaller prices for energy provided by WtE. This results also in
better business cases.
Management of produced waste is becoming a big problem in India; WtE could play a significant
role as a solution to this problem. Most importantly, the government of India and municipalities
of big cities have to be positive about the object to make WtE an important energy source. The
landscape has to be changed by education about waste and possibilities of WtE. The new generation
Indians have to be taught in school the value of waste, so the new standard in time will be using
waste instead of ‘throwing it away’.
6.2 Recommendations to the Actors involved
WtE is a complex socio-technical system and it cannot be worked out without the involvement of
all the actors and their focused contribution towards the common goal. Applying FIS, revealed
multiple roadblocks to the subject problem and at the same time opened gateways for the solution.
A multi-level approach requiring involvement all the actors is presented as below.
The major component which makes WtE economically inviable, is the high waste segregation cost.
Awareness programs are required to be organized by all the stakeholders, for the citizens and
municipal authorities to encourage segregation of waste at source, which would drastically reduce
the process cost. In case, the citizens and municipal authorities are aware that the waste would
eventually be used to generate electricity, then they would be motivated to separate different types
of wastes. Further, Mobilization of resources by the Municipality in terms of more and separate
garbage collection bins for different type of wastes, equipments and manpower are required.
Property tax is collected from households and establishments, by the municipality, which includes
the cost of waste collection. However, the revenue generated from this, is not passed on while
giving contracts for waste collection and WtE generation, which can be sorted out (Planning
Commission, 2014). Separate contracts for waste collection and transportation, processing and
31
WtE plants are dealt by the municipality, which needs to streamlined to become cost effective.
The separate contracts increases the cost of the processed waste purchased by the WtE agencies
and eventually the cost of electricity, which is currently INR 12/KWh (Planning Commission,
2014). Tariff, tipping fee and Viability Gap Fund are the three parameters of a project. Ministry
of Finance have approved tariff at INR 6/KWh and tipping fee at INR 300, which are at times not
paid by the municipalities. Municipalities are the main beneficiary of the revenue generated from
WtE, hence, they should pay tipping fees and also pay to the WtE plants.
Knowledge development is required by the research institutes and entrepreneurs, to find out and
develop indigenous technologies with better efficiencies and improved emissions levels and to de-
velop boilers which could operate with different waste compositions. Serious lack of knowledge was
found, regarding contracts for PPP (Public Private Partnership) model among various government
bodies, which lead to failure of many earlier WtE projects. Task force constituted by GoI is already
working to develop suitable PPP models.
Even though, there is a mandate by the Central Government to purchase 100% of electricity
generated through WtE at tariff approved by the state authority, the power purchasers are often
unwilling to sign PPA (Power Purchase agreements), due to high electricity cost. Hence, some
direct or indirect tax rebate may be provided for power purchasers by the State Government
(Earlier VAT on WtE electricity was NIL in Delhi, however after change in the tax system, details
of applicability of rebate cannot be found).
An economically and socially conducive environment needs to be created as mentioned in the
recommendations above to create a promising market for WtE, which would motivate entrepreneurs
to utilize all sorts of waste and make a viable project out of it.
6.3 Alternative framework analyses for a qualitative solution based ap-
proach to address slow adoption of WtE:
In this report so far, WtE has been analysed in detail from an FIS perspective where waste and
energy regimes are treated separately and elements from the regimes are individually linked to their
respective niche elements. The approach was used to explain and analyze the status quo. Sections
6.1 and 6.2 further elaborated on recommendations, but within the framework of FIS.
However, it has to be noted that unlike mentioned in section 4.2, waste and energy will henceforth
be understood from a respective niche perspective where novelties in waste management processes
and energy generation technologies are at the lowest level in MLP transitions. The reason is that
the energy regime is characterized by greater development and integration of sub functions than
that of the waste regime. By breaking them down to niche levels of technological development
for comparisons in waste and energy niches, it can be understood that waste management niche
requires greater support and integration of its component functions so that it can reach the level
of energy niche. Further, these will transition to a regime of power generation and electricity
markets.
The new niche and regime of MLP are only for a stimulating discussion here and are purely reflec-
tions of the literature that were referred to in the making of this report. Let us discuss alternate
frameworks available to reach solutions by incorporating certain elements from van Alphen FIS,
SNM and MLP.
6.3.1 Mixed solution approach through SNM and MLP
Not only is the introduction of Sustainable energy technologies not easy, but the regime of the
existing energy and transport systems are characterized by lock in and resistance to change. (Ja-
cobsson and Johnson, 2000). Often no clear markets exist. In other words, niches do not pre-exist,
waiting to be filled, but rather they materialise as the product of organisational action. (van der
Laaka et al., 2007). It was already discussed in section 3.3 the three processes required for niche
development: voicing and shaping expectations, network formation, and learning processes. The
various stakeholders mentioned in section 2.3 will be involved by collecting and pooling all their
inputs, requirements, the anticipated problems, and desired outcomes they envisage. The building
32
of social networks is most crucial for collaborative work environment for technologies that have
not been developed and where different stakeholders work on developing niches in their respective
areas. Finally, the emergence of these strong social networks lubricate the learning processes and
increases the chances of obtaining the desired outcomes.
These have to be applied to Waste and energy niches independently where they can be later
integrated in a regime of power generation. For the sake of easier understanding, let us limit this
to a local level government, say a particular municipality within Delhi. Since Delhi is a mega city
with a large population, it necessitates greater administrative divisions for better rule of law, i.e.,
Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council, and Delhi Cantonment
Board. To this geographical extent, WtE can be analyzed from the following way by using SNM
and MLP.
Waste and Energy niches are to be separately studied. As explained in section 2.4 that the eco-
nomics of waste management is an important factor adding up to the costs and making the electric-
ity of WtE unviable in the electricity market as well as making it uneconomic in the merit order of
power markets, waste management itself could be developed as a niche. Sufficient reinforcements
can be provided in the following ways.
a. In the form of strong enforcement of policies, directives, govt. orders and laws created for
waste management. It is the single most powerful and efficient form of ensuring that a process is
followed and implemented the way it is designed. India already has a good legal framework for
waste management in some aspects but it ranks low, globally when it comes to enforcement i.e.,
Rule of Law (Sen and Kapoor, 2016).
b. Encouraging entrepreneurial activities to develop the niche by partly privatising the activities in
waste management niche. The additional costs, if (and when) incurred, will have to be subsidized
in the niche as a way of developing the method in its nascent stages. The reason for suggesting
privatising is that in India, from the liberalization era that was ushered in 1991, privatizing many
services in the country has borne multiple fruits and there is a sufficient good will among the
people on it. While there have also been instances where privatization has been looked upon as
a purely capitalistic oriented act that cannot fulfill the socialistic objectives that a developing
country needs, yet, a regulated and limited privatization of some or all activities in SWM in a
limited geographical area has to be tested and tried before further conclusions can be made.
c. Another way to reinforce and develop the niche of waste management technologies is that local
governments can tie up with their counterparts in countries where tested and tried, proven and
efficient methods, can be incorporated through a sufficient knowledge and/or technology transfer
and manpower building.
The emphasis on waste management, to re-iterate, is purely for the economics of electricity of WtE,
which is considered as a sustainable energy technology. Not only is energy generated sustainably
but the issue of solid waste management also sufficiently addressed.
6.3.2 Solution approach through van Alphen FIS
Klaas van Alphen suggests that the need for transfer of technology to a country can be justified
only if a specific well functioning Innovation System is in place in order to have a successful
transfer. In our example, Delhi has a well functioning system for waste management and energy
generation, if they both are looked at as niches. Delhi is a mega city, with its per capita income
higher than national average (Ghosal, 2017), with the presence of a large number of multi national
technological enterprises and research institutes and much required manpower, there is no paucity
of an innovation system. It is already in place, as it can be inferred from section 2.3. Now that
this is available, let us examine certain functions that can be of use in the present context.
From countries like Sweden, Norway and the US where waste management techniques have been
highly developed, initiation of technology transfer can be made. Delhi has sufficient human, or-
ganisational and institutional capacity as has been mentioned above. Demand articulation of the
stakeholders in the receiving country has to be thoroughly made as it is the foremost step in listing
the requirements needed to address the issues (technological) in the system here. It is complicated
and is predominantly becoming data driven. This has been explained in 4.2.1. Knowledge diffusion
33
can initiate from the technology donor country, where information flows can begin by matching
with the knowledge deficient areas. While it initiates from the donor country, the host country will
have to take the wheel while channeling this information flow and thus has an important task to do:
along with training programs, workshops, the need of participatory approach and to strengthen
the networks in which diverse organizations contribute to the technology transfer (van Alphen et
al., 2008) have to be identified and encouraged.
6.4 Recommendation for further research
This report uses the historical data of WtE technology development in India since 1985 and in-
cludes government’s future plan under Swacch Bharat mission by October 2019. With the declining
trends of coal price and less usage of fossil-fuelled power plants, the new plan that Government
of India will introduce in the end of 2019 will have more complete refinement in the energy sector
for increasing renewables in the energy mix. Therefore, it is more likely to find more interactions
between both waste and energy regime towards WtE innovation.
As a result, a new regime may emerge as an incorporation of waste regime and renewable energy
regime. Further research on this scope will be helpful based on the analysis of landscape change in
the future. A potential of increasing number of public support towards the upcoming energy policy
will have to be taken into account as one of the indicator of function 4, creation of legitimacy. It
is therefore necessary to look further into the details of this function to enable us form a better
positive FIS feedback loops as seen in Figure 5.
6.5 What’s Next? Bracing for the impact of new socio-technological
systems and transitions of the future
"We do not live in an era of change but in a change of eras." – Jan Rotmans
Infusion of new technologies brings new types of social challenges whilst introduction and integra-
tion in the society. As offence is the best defence, preparation for a future with such possibilities
is necessary. Professor Jan Rotmans who authored the paper ’more evolution than revolution’
discusses how transitions are transformation processes in which society changes in a fundamental
way in a generation or more (Rotmans, J., Kemp, R., Van Asselt, 2001). While it is the people,
the society that aspire for this transition, governments shall have to take the lead to bring about
the change, agrees Rene Kemp.
On a larger context of landscape factors where a sustainable future is envisaged by governments
across the world, Jan Rotmans prescribes a 3 step process for this transition to a new society that
he calls Society 3.0 which is a Glocalised world, i.e., adoption of globally impacting ideas to suit
locally defined needs that help societies reach their sustainable goals. What does it take to reach
there?
1. Freeing oneself from the old institutions requires courage
2. Accepting uncertainties that are part of the new upcoming society 3.0
3. Develop skills and tools useful for society 3.0
This requires a new direction for global governance where technology and society shall have to
steer towards what is necessary in achieving the right objectives. Hence, Connecting is a powerful
form of steering and Facilitating is a powerful form of leadership. The leadership of countries like
the United States, European Union, China and India can facilitate this.
Why is such a strong change in the direction of leadership is needed? Rene Kemp answers as
follows. The uncertainties in the future will bring forth difficult choices to make. Making a choice
between
a. Simple solution and
b. Useful Solution,
34
with respect to policy management for transitions, is a complex task because policy makers are
not interested in simple solutions and political leadership doesn’t like useful solutions since they
are difficult to implement!
35
Appendix
The work was amicably divided among the four members in the group every week. The weekly
introductions and conclusions were frequently rotated among each one every week so that everyone
got one turn to write. One document owner was made responsible every week to handle with the
final editing and uploading. In this way every one got one chance to be the weekly document
owner. The following table clearly explains the work divisions among the team members.
Chapter Topic Contributor
Abstract Amanda, Praveen
Table of Contents Vamsi
1Introduction
1.1 What is WtE Vamsi
1.2 Research Questions Praveen, Vamsi
1.3 Methodology Praveen
1.4 Research Boundaries Praveen
1.5 Structure Amanda
2Waste to Energy Technology in India
2.1 A Brief History Vamsi
2.2 Technological Overview Vamsi, Amanda
2.3 Stakeholders Involved Amanda
2.4 Barriers & Drivers of Further Development Vamsi, Praveen
2.5 Externalities Stijn
3Theoretical Framework Discussion
3.1 FIS Vamsi, Praveen, Stijn
3.2 FIS van Alphen Stijn
3.3 SNM Praveen
3.4 MLP Amanda
3.5 Choosing the Right Approach Vamsi
3.6 Table of Indicators Vamsi
4Framework Analysis: WtE
4.1 Applying FIS to WtE Amanda, Praveen, Stijn, Vamsi
4.1.1 Framework Analysis
4.1.2 Explaining Feedback Loops Amanda, Vamsi
4.2 Regime Analysis Vamsi
4.3 Landscape Analysis Vamsi
5Conclusion Amanda, Praveen, Stijn
6Reflections & Recommendations
6.1 Primary Recommendations Stijn
6.2 Recommendations to the Actors Involved Praveen
6.3.1 Alternative framework Analysis Vamsi
6.3.2 Vamsi
6.4 Recommendation for further Research Amanda
6.5 What’s next? Bracing for the impact Vamsi
Bibliography Vamsi
36
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... 45 Through the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000 as revised in April 2016, the Government of India notified municipal authorities to set up waste-processing and disposal facilities. 46 Thereafter, due to the rapid rate of urbanisation and the tremendous increase in population, communities have proliferated in the close vicinity of these dump sites. As a result, the waste disposal facilities in various cities, including Delhi, have faced opposition from nearby residents. ...
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