We will get 20 terawatt hours of waste heat

We will get 20 terawatt hours of waste heat

Research Director Peter Egil Roque at Sintef Energi looked at how much heat could be extracted from the waste heat currently lost in industrial processes. Industry has done a lot to harness this excess heat, but there is still more to come – even though Norwegian industry is highly energy efficient on a global level.

A company like Elkem has come a long way and recovers 500 GWh per year. However, it releases NOK 300,000 worth of heat per day, says Rocky. Sentev believes that about 20 additional terawatt-hours could be extracted from Norway’s industrial energy consumption, which was 236 terawatt-hours in 2018. About 10 percent is not trivial.

Roque believes it is possible to rethink excess heat. The most obvious is of course its use in district heating networks, but heat is not an energy source that can be transported far away. Then it might be a good idea to invite companies with heating needs to set up nearby. It could be anything from horticulture to drying seaweed and kelp, carbon capture and storage (CCS) to other industrial businesses that need access to affordable heat.

The heat does not always maintain a high enough temperature, but this problem can be solved with heat pumps. These devices can use heat sources that are sufficiently “tepid” and upgrade them with a modest input of electrical power to provide reasonable heat at a temperature that can be used for other purposes.

This is very cheap energy, Sentev says, and points out that one kroner for research can generate an income of four and up to 16 kroner. And without controversy. We talk about this on the podcast today.

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