Industrial heat recovery can cut carbon emissions – and costs

Industrial heat recovery can cut carbon emissions – and costs

Around the world, industrial processes release vast amounts of heat as waste to the atmosphere. Where this heat can be recovered and this does not happen, a significant opportunity to improve process efficiency, reduce costs and even generate new revenue streams is missed. It also needlessly adds to the stock of national emissions. The challenge and opportunity of industrial waste heat recovery is well recognized internationally, and this is an area in which Ricardo is keen to help customers.

In the UK, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
(BEIS) announced in October the launch of the Industrial Heat Recovery Support (IHRS) programme. This is a grant funding programme open to manufacturing sites and data centres that would like support to scope out and implement projects to recover and utilize surplus heat.

There is a widespread belief that industrial operators are not tapping into the potential to recover and reuse heat and are therefore not enjoying the
financial benefits. This could be because of a lack of knowledge and information about the potential to do this at their sites, or because of the relatively long payback periods when specific projects are identified. The IHRS programme has been developed to address these barriers by providing grant funding for feasibility studies and for the actual implementation of projects to recover and reuse heat.

The programme is open to manufacturing sites located in England and Wales where activities fall under Standard Industrial Classification codes
10-33. It is also open to data centres in respect of heating, ventilation and
air conditioning, and ancillary systems. All activities in the lifecycle of a heat
recovery project are eligible for grant funding. This means that grant funding is available against the costs incurred when carrying out feasibility studies, preliminary engineering, detailed design, and capital project delivery.

In all, there is £18 million of grant funding available. £4.2 million is available
for feasibility studies and preliminary engineering, and £13.8 million for
detailed design and capital delivery. Applicants may receive up to 50 percent of grant funding against the costs of feasibility studies, preliminary engineering and detailed design. Up to 30 percent is available for capital project delivery.

There is a continuously open application window running until the end
of September 2019. Applications received are not assessed continuously but during assessment windows, each of two months’ duration. Crucially, this means that all applicants wishing to access this grant funding must make their applications by the end of September 2019 at the latest. Moreover, BEIS is front-loading the availability of grant funding towards the
earlier assessment windows. 

I would urge qualifying industrial and data centre companies to embrace
this programme. For those requiring assistance, we are here to help. Ricardo worked closely with BEIS in defining the scope, eligibility and assessment criteria of the programme, so we understand what
a successful project would look like. Our CHP (combined heat and power) and heat experts have a comprehensive range of skills and experience key to scoping out and implementing heat recovery opportunities.

These include knowledge of industrial processes and heat recovery technologies, generation and audit of mass and energy balances, due diligence of technical proposals, and project financial appraisal. These skills are key for identifying and progressing technically sound projects which
can be implemented efficiently and generate long term cost and carbon savings.

Most of all, we are impartial. We are not a technology supplier, so our advice is technology neutral and based solely on each solution’s technical and economic merits. Moreover, our technical competencies and
impartiality can be applied to industrial heat recovery projects globally.