IIR member news: Excess heat is the largest untapped energy source

In a whitepaper, IIR Benefactor member Danfoss highlights the vast untapped potential of excess heat as a source of energy.

Wasted energy often comes in the form of excess heat and is a byproduct of most industrial and commercial processes; factories, data centers, wastewater facilities and supermarkets all produce vast amounts of excess heat.  


In the European Union (EU) alone, excess heat amounts to 2,860 TWh/y, almost equal to the EU’s total energy demand for heating and hot water in residential and service sector buildings. Much of this excess heat could instead be captured and used. 


Reusing excess heat would lower costs for consumers. Indeed, it is much cheaper to reuse energy than it is to buy or produce it. At the societal level, excess heat can replace significant amounts of electricity or gas that are otherwise needed to produce heat. This way, excess heat can help stabilise the future electricity grid. 

According to Danfoss, the full implementation by 2050 of technologies that tap into synergies between different sectors and enable a utilisation of excess heat has the potential to save EUR 67.4 bn a year.