Entrepreneurs in China, the world’s largest energy user, are looking beyond traditional clean energy sources like wind turbines and solar panels to niche technologies, including those that use waste heat to generate electricity. So reports the Financial Times.
The market for waste heat and waste watery recovery in China is vast – as is opportunity for global companies that specialize in waste-heat-capture technologies.
Most Chinese factories recover waste heat and waste-water to reuse for power, but its rare for them to connect that electricity to the grid.
This represents an opportunity for other companies looking to harness this resource. Shanghai Shenghe New Technology Resources, for example, uses a technology developed by Wasabi Energy that captures waste heat with a water-ammonia mixture from petrochemical refineries, cement plants, or thermal coal power plants to generate electricity.
Under China’s current five-year plan, electricity generated from waste heat receives a special feed-in tariff of Rmb1.36 per kilowatt-hour, similar to the feed-in tariff for wind or solar.
Some factories are upgrading facilities to meet efficiency targets and benefit from the feed-in tariff. In 2012, more than 700 cement plants generated electricity from low-temperature waste heat. In 2011, Anhui Conch Cement, one of China’s biggest cement companies, used waste heat to generate 4.51bn kilowatt-hours of electricity.
Steel companies are also making advances in capturing waste heat and gases to generate electricity. Hebei Iron and Steel mills in Handan uses turbines designed by GE to capture and use waste gases. Yaohua Pilkington, a glass plant, uses waste heat to generate electricity used in the factory.
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