Energy efficiency – unlocking the potential of unused heat & cold in industry

Energy efficiency is regarded as no-regret option for reducing Europe’s climate impact. While a lot of attention has been given to improvements of energy efficiency for consumer products and buildings, there is also a huge potential in industry. Today, when the temperature range of the unused heat at the end of industrial processes is relatively low or too high, often this energy is simply vented. In this sense, the heat-to-power technology offers a solution to create valuable electricity from “waste heat”. It is estimated that, in industry, around 150 TWh of heat above 300° C is wasted in Europe every year. This unused heat could be transformed into additional electricity and by this provide around 70 TWh of additional electricity, avoiding 21 Mto CO2 each year through increased energy efficiency. 

In line with the discussions on Heat/Cold in the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan Action 6which aims at “making EU industry less energy and resources intensive, more carbon-neutral and competitive“, the session will build up on the options for heat-to-power available for industry and have a closer look on the areas which today are not yet used in a profitable way. The session will start with short stories of energy-intensive companies that successfully introduced solutions to increase their energy efficiency through the transformation of unused “waste” heat. Afterwards, representatives of the energy-intensive industries, technology providers, EU member states and researchers will discuss what is already possible and on which areas the EU should concentrate its efforts to further boost energy efficiency.

Speakers include:

- Haitze Siemers, Head of Unit DG Energy, European Commission
- Timo Ritonummi, Energy Department of the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
- Àngels Orduña Cao, Executive Director at A.SPIRE
- Ludo Diels, Senior Research leader at VITO and vice-chair of A.SPIRE Advisory Group
- Ralf Wezel, Secretary General at EUTurbines

The session seeks to:

- Showcase the potential of Heat-to-Power solutions
- Analyse the areas which today are not yet used in a profitable way
- Discuss what is needed to be more efficient and recover more unused heat from industry
- Identify the areas where the EU should concentrate its efforts to further boost energy efficiency in industry


Head of Unit for 'Innovation, clean technologies and competitiveness'
European Commission - DG ENER
Director General, Energy Department
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Executive Director
SPIRE - Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency
Secretary General
Senior Research leader