Wastewater Energy Transfer
An untapped resource for global emission reduction
What is Wastewater Energy Transfer (WET)?
We first spoke about Wastewater Energy Transfer (WET) in our introductory piece on SHARC Energy, link below.
For those new to the concept wastewater energy recovery refers to the process of capturing the thermal energy in wastewater for the purposes of heating, cooling, and hot water production in residential and commercial buildings.
Why is now the right time for WET implementation?
There has been an increasing focus on reducing emissions and improving sustainability as it relates to the environmental footprint of our buildings, which according to the EIA consume 30% of our energy. Thermal efficiency improvements provided by WET technologies could be instrumental in lowering global emissions. We touched on the growing demand for energy efficient buildings in our LEED Certification piece below
Recent Articles Highlighting Wastewater Energy Transfer
There have been several articles recently that show this approach to building temperature regulation is gaining momentum. In the article below, the BBC talks about the False Creek project (one of SHARC Energy’s installations) where a neighbourhood of over 6,000 apartments get the majority of their heat from wastewater.
The scale of benefits WET brings is enormous when considering the reduction in traditional methods of energy generation. Another article published earlier this month estimates that the US is flushing away 350 TWh of energy every year.
In the article they dive into the just how big of an issue heat loss is, not just from wastewater but many of your home appliances, calling it the world’s largest untapped resource.
A saving of 250 TWh is substantially when you consider that total energy consumption in the US in 2022 was just over 4K TWh, that’s a savings of over 8% of energy from traditional sources..
These WET projects aren’t only gaining traction in North America, in the article below from the Guardian they highlight a project in Amsterdam that will heat 1600 homes. This article also mentions that you could heat 8% of Amsterdam with WET systems.
Currently the impact of installed WET systems has had a insignificant impact globally. However, the installation of district-wide WET systems could be instrumental in helping to create more sustainable living while simultaneously reducing carbon emission that come from traditional fossil fuel power generation.