Waste Heat to Power is one of the most economic ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions (dollar/tonCO2) and to generate low cost power. Like all clean energies, however, capital cost is limiting WHP potential. Reduction in start up costs through state and/or federal tax incentives will enable Waste Heat to Power technologies to compete in the renewable market place as well as alongside traditional electric sources. Once deployed on a large scale, costs will improve, and economic payoffs will be realized. First we need to get there.
Why is WHP Not Being Developed?
The biggest reason the current market for capturing heat for emission-free electricity is small in the United States is because waste heat is not recognized appropriately for its ability to generate emission-free electricity. While WHP creates the same clean energy produced by renewables, federal legislation does not provide it with the same tax incentives afforded to traditional renewables (the same is true in most States as well). Without this classification, utilities have no incentive to purchase the clean power nor to provide an economically feasible price for its generation…just as was once the case for traditional renewables. By updating Sections 45 and 48 of the U.S. tax code, the U.S. Congress would recognize waste heat as renewable equivalent, facilitate the creation of American jobs and ensure American leadership in the global clean energy race.
The Anticipated Benefits
American industrial processes are an increasingly expensive proposition. While operating continuously – for major manufacturers this can be as much as 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – is necessary to compete in a global marketplace, it requires the consumption of a massive amount of energy. This is most often purchased from local utilities and a significant line item in any operational budget. Installing Waste Heat to Power technology would allow companies to generate their own emission-free power from a resource they already own, reducing their operating costs – and carbon footprint. Alternatively, this energy could be sold back to the grid generating a new stream of revenue.