Nearly all major power plants release heat or steam as part of their functioning. While some recycle and use this heat, others waste it. In US, a mere 12% of the electricity is generated from recycled heat. And that needs to change now.
In terms of the environmental predictions, this can be deemed the year of gloom and doom. Corporations and most anti-environmentalism lobbies around the globe continue their rhetoric, countries continue waging wars and the environment is taking a turn for the worst. The problem is, while climate change-deniers are free to deny the changes that are happening, they can’t close their eyes from it.
When it comes to wasted heat energy, the problem lies more with the regulators. In Denmark, nearly 50% of all electricity is generated from recycled heat. In Finland, this number is at 39% while in US, a mere 12% of electricity is generated in this way.
The reason for this is simple: US government doesn’t provide adequate tax breaks for using recycled heat. To top it, using steam produced in power plants needs certain infrastructure and this form of recycled heat can be used only near the plant itself. So while combined heat and power plants who do recycle the heat get 10% tax rebate, others get 30% tax rebate for investing in clean energy.
But the problem is that there is a huge amount of unclean energy that is there and its affects can be mitigated to a great degree by offering greater incentives in recycled heat. Not only does it reduce the costs of power production, it significantly reduces the carbon footprint in the air by containing and using the gases emitted. So it is essentially a win win situation for everyone.