More than half of the total final energy the EU used in 2012 across all sectors of the economy went into thermal uses, i.e. heating and cooling. For resource and energy intensive industries, this share is even higher. Since more than 80 % of the energy for heating and cooling comes from fossil primary energy resources, thermal energy represents a significant environmental burden. Typically, a significant share of heating and cooling energy exiting the main industrial processes is lost or discarded in different output streams and materials or dissipated through industrial equipment.
This energy is effectively wasted – a fact that runs counter to one of the goals stated in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 framework programme: to support secure, clean and efficient energy. Reusing excess heat and cold from industrial processes can reduce primary energy consumption, energy costs and environmental burden. However, large potentials remain untapped due to hurdles such as the lack of a clear business case or financing options, as well as insufficient information and technical and human resources. To assist with overcoming these obstacles, the Horizon 2020 EMB3Rs project will implement a bottom-up, user-driven and open-source matching platform for excess heat and cold which will simulate different supply-demand scenarios, determine the costs and benefits related with excess HC utilization routes, and define the required implementation conditions for the most promising solutions.
The project consortium consisting of 16 partners from academia, research institutions, consultancies and IT specialists is led by Portugal’s INEGI. adelphi is involved in conceptualising the platform and is responsible for its scalability and deployment, as well as for project exploitation.