Power station heat recovery could meet 5 per cent of UK heating demand - report

3 June 2009 - The UK is missing out on the opportunity to recycle and reuse waste heat produced in the electricity generation process to heat our homes and business, according to a new report from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Currently, heat production accounts for 49 per cent of all primary energy consumed in the UK, far more than in the production of electricity or that used in the transport sector, reported New Civil Engineeer.

The report, based on new research undertaken by the University of Southampton sustainability energy research group, states that the use of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology would allow the capture and re-use of waste heat produced in the electricity generation process, cutting energy consumption and carbon emissions.

"The truth is, that if half of the heat lost during electricity production could be captured, it would meet 25 per cent of the UK's heat demand, dramatically reducing energy consumption, cutting costs and carbon emissions," said member of ICE's energy panel Dr. Keith Tovey.

"Whilst this level of capture and re-use is not possible under the current organisation of the sector – and there are technical difficulties that need to be addressed – there are immediate opportunities for recycling and re-use, particularly at a local level that could have a marked impact.

"What we need to do is look closely at introducing district heating networks in areas surrounding viable existing power stations in the UK and ensure we assess potential heat capture possibilities for any new facilities.

"In the longer term we need to consider the potentially huge benefits that decentralised CHP could bring to the UK. With the current generation of thermal power stations coming to the end of their lifespan, there is a real opportunity to vastly improve the efficiency of our energy sector and drastically lower its carbon footprint."

The report explains that heat recovery from existing centralised power stations could meet 5 per cent of our current heating demand by 2020. This would largely be achieved through the introduction of CHP and district heating networks at specific locations, where there is a significant population within a 10km radius of a viable power station, such as those at Drax, Ferrybridge and Eggborough.

According to the report, by far the most efficient method of heat capture is decentralised CHP and district heating, of the sort used successfully in Scandinavia and other parts of Europe where smaller power stations are located close to centre of population. ICE urges investigation into how a similar approach could work in the UK.

In addition ICE would continue to encourage institution scale CHP schemes such as in hospitals and universities.

Sponsored by FLSmidth

Related Articles

MTU Onsite Energy to provide $442M CHP system to Baltimore casino

The new Horseshoe Casino Baltimore will include a $442 million combined heat, power and cooling (CHP) trigeneration system, provided by MTU Onsite Energy.

Maryland cogeneration power plant sells assets

Stuart B. Millner & Associates (SBMA), an asset management company, signed a contract with Owings Mills Equipment Leasing to liquidate assets from a Maryland cogeneration plant.

Follow Power Engineering on Twitter

Products Showcase

Dynamic Fluoride Ion cleaning DFIC of industrial natural gas turbines Hi-Tech Furnace Systems

Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning of IGT Parts

The Dynamic Fluoride Ion Cleaning (DFIC) Process from Hi-Tech Furnace Systems is able to clean deep, narrow cracks of oxides by cycling between negative, atmospheric, and positive pressure.

Latest News

Shutterstock coal production trucks

Weekly Coal Production

The Weekly Coal Production shows how much coal is being produced across the U.S.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Weekly Economic Indicators financial business

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Economic Indicators

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas offers a glimpse into how the markets are doing domestical...

Kvaerner awarded contract for gas-fired power plant in Delaware

Kvaerner North American Construction Inc. and its joint venture partner, Parsons Brinckerhoff...

Canadian Solar purchases two solar projects

Canadian Solar Inc. has acquired a majority interest in two utility-scale solar power project...

Operators Restart Unit 2 at PPL Susquehanna

Unit 2 at the PPL Susquehanna nuclear power plant near Berwick, Pa. resumed generating electr...

Settlement agreement limits cost recovery at Edwardsport

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on Dec. 27 modified and approved a settlemen...

Toshiba in talks to sell portion of Westinghouse nuclear unit

Toshiba Corp is in talks  to sell up to 16% of its stake in the Westinghouse Electric Co...

Utah nixes nuclear waste storage facility

Plans to park radioactive waste at a storage facility in Utah have been officially called off.

Archived Articles

2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Buyers Guide Categories

Power Engineering Current Issue

03/01/2014
Volume 118, Issue 3
1403PE-cover

Buyers Guide Company Listings

Vogt Power International Inc

Industry leading HRSG manufacturer with experience in combined cycle and cogeneration plants. Our aftermarket specializes in turnkey engineered solutions, including comprehensive inspections, NPHR evaluations, and plant assessments.

LB Services LLC

Provides professional grade energy, power and utility consulting services, including CHP and cogeneration, renewable energy options, energy auditing and upgrades, and site energy and sustainability strategies.

Kato Engineering Inc

Provivdes generators for prime, standby, and peak-shaving power. Engine- or turbine-driven 200 kW to 25 MW. Used in oil and gas, mining and manufacturing, military, transportation, cogeneration, computers, and telecommunications.

Proe Power Systems LLC

Develops, licenses, and sells revolutionary, new, low-cost, and low-emissions power plants that produce combined heat and power from waste heat recapture and more.

Power Industry Wire News

BASF Brings Hands-On Science to More Than 2,000 Schoolchildren During National Chemistry Week

BASF Brings Hands-On Science to More Than 2,000 Schoolchildren During National Chemistr...

SCS-Certified Products Among Top 10 Products Honored by BuildingGreen at Greenbuild 2014

SCS-Certified Products Among Top 10 Products Honored by BuildingGreen at Greenbuild 2014

Arabella Exploration Backs Into Additional Acreage

Arabella Exploration Backs Into Additional Acreage

FLIR Systems Announces Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results

FLIR Systems Announces Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results

Despite Declining Demand, BASF Increases Sales and Earnings in the Third Quarter of 2014

Despite Declining Demand, BASF Increases Sales and Earnings in the Third Quarter of 2014

Power Engineering

Article Archives for Power Engineering Magazine

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours

To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Latest Energy Jobs

View more Job Listings >>


Power Engineering Newscasts

EPA chief: carbon caps will boost economy
Australia, Russia enter nuclear power agreement with Argentina
Largest battery energy storage in North America now operational
EPA chief: carbon caps will boost economy Largest battery energy storage in North America now operational Australia, Russia enter nuclear power agreement with Argentina Texas’ Panda Temple combined cycle plant up and running
Siemens agrees to acquire Dresser-Rand
Safety concrete poured at UAE nuclear reactor power project
Foster Wheeler to upgrade natural gas-fired power plant’s emission controls
GE, TransCanada partner on natural gas turbine design
Energy storage global market to grow to $15.6B by 2024; DOE awards $2M to support taller wind turbine towers; Hinkley Point C nuclear project have financial incentives approved; N.J. company building waste-to-energy project in Ireland