Fighting against global warming through the reduction of the carbon footprint in Europe must develop such homegrown technologies to serve its societies. When we think about future energy systems, we usually think only of electricity. Here is where the power grid’s twin – the smart thermal water grid – comes into play. We need to link district heating systems and expand thermal grids at scale. The next step in Europe is to make smart thermal grids that can harvest heat wasted from current and future sources such as power plants and data centers. Europe is wasting enough heat to almost cover the current heat demands in all its buildings. Respecting the goals of the Paris Agreement, Europe must instantly, immediately and massively implement a thermal grid to decarbonize for Europe’s future generations.

EU industries are often aware of their own Waste Heat and Cold (WH/C) potential: they assess them via energy audit, and they look at WH/C as inefficiencies, not as opportunities! When they assess their WH/C potential after an industrial energy audit their reaction is: “SO, WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS AMOUNT OF THERMAL ENERGY?

SO WHAT Project funded by EU H2020 is on! The main objective is to develop and demonstrate an integrated software which will support industries and energy utilities in selecting best options for recovering waste heat and cold.

The SO WHAT integrated tool will be designed to support industries, and energy utilities in 1) auditing the industrial process to understand where WH/WC could be valorised 2) mapping the potential of locally available RES sources to be integrated with WH/WC potential 3) mapping the local forecasted demand for heating and cooling 4) define and simulate alternative cost-effective scenarios based on WH/WC technologies also leveraging TES introduction 5) evaluate the impacts (in terms of energetic, economic and environmental KPIs) that the adoption of the new scenarios will generate against the current situation (i.e., baseline) both at industrial and local level 6) promoting innovative contractual arrangements and financing models to guarantee economically viable solutions and less risky investments.

To do so the SO WHAT project will capitalize already existing tool and knowledge from previous research experiences and the expertise of 11 industrial validation sites from different REII/ non-REII sectors (petrochemical, chemical, metallurgic, food etc.) that will be involved in the project to validate the tool and provide relevant insights for its development.

Sustainable Innovations and their know-how in commercial exploitation strategies and capacity building will lead the SO WHAT tool promotion through an impressive stakeholder network. Moreover, national clusters knowledge and project outcomes will be promoted via sound training and replication strategies involving at least 40 external stakeholders (industries, ESCOs, energy utilities, public authorities and more). A training and stakeholders’ engagement plan have been set-up towards the empowerment of the expected project impacts, also to drive policy redaction via the final redaction of a policy-oriented positioning paper. The consortium has been articulated in a synergic and strategic way in order to cover all necessary expertise on one hand and to guarantee the tool’s maintenance and update after the project end on the other hand. Partners from 9 European countries (IE, IT, ES, FR, UK, SE, BE, PT, RO) join their forces coordinated by a high qualified/research oriented engineering software house with a great H2020 expertise (IESRD): top-level EU RTOs in the field of energy and industrial sustainability, engineering firms with high expertise in industrial energy audit , industrial energy efficiency, innovation and sustainability-oriented SMEs, energy agencies and local authorities, DHN managers and industrial site owners.

If you would like to be engaged to the outputs of the project and to analyze how you could fit in the SO WHAT value chain, stay tuned on the project social media, and Sustainable Innovations social media accounts!

SO WHAT Project

Sustainable Innovations Europe

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