Technical and economic metrics of electricity generation from a Waste to Energy (WTE) plant are compared to coal, natural gas combined cycle, biomass, and landfill gas generation alternatives for Austin, Texas under a range of greenhouse gas emissions prices. The WTE technology and history is described, as well as details relevant to a WTE plant in Austin. Technical and economic values for WTE from the literature are discussed. The upper limit of electricity generation from Austin’s MSW stream is 5% of Austin’s 2007 annual electricity consumption. Selection of appropriate values for capital, operating, and fuel costs indicates that WTE is more expensive than all of the alternative generation technologies considered (coal, natural gas combined cycle, landfill gas, and biomass). If greenhouse gas emissions are priced and offsets from fugitive landfill gas emissions are allowed, WTE becomes more cost-competitive by taking credit for offset landfill gas emissions. Under this scenario WTE becomes cost-competitive with biomass at $33 per ton CO2 equivalent, coal at $92 per ton CO2 equivalent, and natural gas at $115 per ton CO2 equivalent.

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