‘Industrial energy efficiency’ doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely as solar. But when it comes to cleaning up the air and keeping the lights on, it’s got a lot to offer.
That’s why industrial energy efficiency is on a growth trajectory in the U.S. — not as fast as some would hope, but expanding nonetheless. Characterized largely by combined heat and power (CHP), it is set to increase 22 percent by 2030, or even more if Congress extends clean energy tax credits.
That’s the word from a report issued today by the Pew Charitable Trusts that looks at the tremendous upheaval created by distributed energy on the electric grid, and what’s to come for heat-related energy tech, such as CHP and waste-heat-to-power (WHP). The technologies use heat — otherwise wasted in production processes — to create useful energy. This leads to fuel savings and emissions reductions.
The report, “Distributed Generation: Cleaner, Cheaper, Stronger – Industrial Efficiency in the Changing Utility Landscape,” offers historical perspective on why the grid revolution is underway. Hint: It’s about a lot more than green.