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Waste Heat: An Untapped Resource That Could Power the world

Waste heat, once the forgotten byproduct of industrial processes, is now emerging as a game-changer in the world of energy conservation. Across Europe, excess heat generated by various industries has the potential to meet a significant portion of the region's heating needs. However, this valuable resource has largely been neglected, with many businesses venting it straight into the atmosphere.

In this article, we will explore the untapped potential of waste heat, the challenges it poses, and an innovative solution that promises to transform waste heat into a sustainable energy source.

The Hidden Potential of Waste Heat:

Europe's industrial landscape generates an astonishing amount of waste heat every year, which could be harnessed to meet a substantial portion of the region's heating demands. According to a report by the global engineering company Danfoss, the European Union alone wastes an estimated 2,860 terawatt-hours (TWh) of excess heat annually, nearly equivalent to the EU's total energy demand for heating and hot water.

This excess heat originates from various sources, including supermarkets, factories, transport networks, and commercial buildings. Remarkably, much of this waste heat can be captured and utilized through existing heat recovery technologies.

Challenges and Solution:

One significant challenge in tapping into waste heat is the risk associated with traditional methods of energy recovery. Attempting to recover energy from dirty process air often leads to equipment clogs and downtime. The maintenance required to clean process air can negate potential savings. However, we have  a game-changing solution.

Lepido, a heavy-duty heat exchanger by Enjay Systems, has been specially designed to recover energy from dirty process air without necessitating air cleaning. Its innovative design allows particles and impurities to pass through, ensuring stable heat transfer. Lepido is currently being used in various markets, including fast-food restaurants, laundries, and food production facilities, to convert waste heat into clean energy.

A Global Perspective:

The issue of waste heat is not unique to Europe. Around the world, countless opportunities exist to harness excess heat. In particular, heavy industries such as manufacturing, welding, and food production generate vast amounts of waste heat. In the EU alone, heavy industry produces over 267 TWh of waste heat annually, surpassing the combined heat generation of Germany, Poland, and Sweden in 2021.*

The Road Ahead:

To fully capitalize on the potential of waste heat, businesses should prioritize energy efficiency and consider incorporating time-bound energy efficiency targets into their net-zero commitments.


Waste heat, once considered a lost opportunity, is now gaining recognition as a critical resource in the fight against energy crises and climate change. Europe's vast reserves of excess heat offer a sustainable solution to heating needs. Innovative technologies like Lepido are paving the way for efficient waste heat recovery. It's time to embrace waste heat, for it has the potential to transform the way we power our world.