Now, more than ever, we need to make better use of the energy we already produce, we simply can’t afford to let it literally escape out the window. Energy efficiency improvements, like capturing and recycling excess heat, are absolutely critical to lower fossil fuel demand and lower bills. Surplus heat is released into the air from a wide range of sources, including supermarkets, transport networks, data centres and commercial buildings. Much of this can be captured and used via existing heat recovery technologies, such as heat pumps, plus more efficient air conditioners and manufacturing machinery. Other solutions include improved urban planning and district energy systems based on networks of renewable energy supplies for both heating and cooling. There was “huge, unharnessed potential” to the excess heat produced by heavy industry, such as chemical manufacturing, steel and cement production. In the EU, that amounts to more than 267 TWh a year, more than the combined heat generation of GermanyPoland and Sweden in 2021.

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