The amount of waste heat generated is estimated to be around 130 TWh, of which the amount of waste heat currently used for district heating is about 3 TWh. The potential of waste heat, the use of which would be technically feasible, is estimated to be about 35 TWh.
However, the potential of waste heat that could still be utilised involves challenges, such as those related to economic profitability and business risks. The potential for further utilisation of waste heat is available in industry and condensing plants. The waste heat potential that industrial plants could utilise is approximately 15 TWh, but this requires sizeable investments. In the utilisation of waste heat, the construction of the transmission network and heat pumps account for a significant part of the costs.
Heat pumps will play an important role in the utilisation of waste heat and a carbon neutral energy system. The importance of heat pumps will increase in the future as previously unprofitable heat sources become profitable due to the changes in technology and the operating environment. These changes will increase system integration between the heating and electricity markets, which will promote the development of new kinds of energy solutions.
More information: juhani.tirkkonen(at)gov.fi