Improving Industrial Energy Efficiency – ( Solar Thermal Magazine ). – Most power plants operate at efficiency levels of just 33 to 45 percent. That means as much as two-thirds of the fuel used to produce electricity is released into the atmosphere and wasted.
But we can turn wasted heat into additional power through proven energy efficiency technologies, such as combined heat and power, waste-heat recovery, and district heat, which could achieve energy efficiencies of 75 percent or greater. In the United States, more than 3,700 power plants, manufacturers, hospitals, and other facilities generate 82 gigawatts of electricity annually—about 12 percent of total U.S. production—using these efficient technologies.
But we can do more.
To get there, we need national policy and the right incentives. Last August, the White House announced a goal of increasing industrial efficiency 50 percent by 2020. This is an excellent first step, but Congress must act as well.