Waste heat utilization: Almost 20 percent of German households could be supplied with electricity
Munich, 22.5.2019. - Almost 18 percent of all German households could already be supplied with clean electricity if we were to make the best possible use of the entire waste heat from our industry. How can this be achieved?
Today, around half of the heat used in industry is lost. It is released into the air, even though it is very valuable. If industrial waste heat were used optimally in Germany alone, more than 23 terawatt hours* of carbon-free, clean electricity could be generated per year. This in turn could supply 7.3 million, or 18 percent, of all German households.
23 terrawatt hours correspond to a total capacity of more than five lignite-fired power plants and cover 93 percent of the production of the lignite-fired power plants to be shut down by 2022 according to the coal commission.
The resulting potential savings in CO2 amount to 13 million tonnes per year. That would save for Germany alone every year an Arctic ice surface of 40 million square meters, considering that for every ton of carbon dioxide released anywhere on Earth, three square meters of Arctic summer sea ice will melt**.
"The use of waste heat is simple today, thanks to our intelligent energy efficiency solutions. Our efficiency PACKs can be implemented wherever waste heat occurs, i.e. in industry, geothermal energy, mobility or shipping. The efficiency PACKs, about the size of a shower cubicle, are usually very simple and quickly connected - plug-and-play - and convert waste heat from engines of all kinds into carbon-free and inexpensive electricity" says Andreas Sichert, CEO of Munich-based Orcan Energy AG, one of the world's leading CleanTech providers. "This would allow us to shut down almost all of the lignite-fired power plants today that have to be removed from the grid by 2022 and save thousands of soccer fields of Arctic ice fields every year. Therefore, in Germany we should start quickly and comprehensively to use the available energy efficiently and make our contribution to the preservation of our planet."
* Orcan Energy, with data from: Umweltbundesamt, Bundesamt für Statistik
**Max-Planck-Institut für Meeresbiologie (MPI-M) und National Snow and Ica Data Center (NSIDC)