Will Waste Heat Be Our Next Power Source?: It’s one of the world’s most ubiquitous sources of energy and it’s
Giddyup! An important area of energy development, with great potential. Be careful around the power price citations though: retail electricity, especially in waste heat’s target industrial sector, is comprised of both a variable energy component and fixed delivery charges (T&D). Unless the retail buyer of power generated from a waste heat device is willing to take the availability risk of the device (ie, going naked, without grid backup), then the device host will want to retain and pay the fixed charges for grid backup, and that means the waste heat power can only displace the variable energy component, when it is running and when the host heat source is running. So the variable “price to beat” is more like 5 or 6 cents on average across the US. Many current waste heat capture technologies don’t work at those prices, even with financing.