Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important due to rising energy costs, volatility in energy prices, and security of energy supply. Both the U.K. government and the European Union (EU) have challenging targets to reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2050. Strategies to achieve these targets include reductions in the energy intensity of buildings, energy efficiency in industry, electrification of transport and space heating, and a shift to renewable-energy technologies for power generation.
Energy efficiency in industry and transport can be improved by improving the efficiency of individual processes and unit operations as well as energy recovery from waste streams. Energy recovered can be used in another part of the process or can be converted to “high value” electrical power. A technology that can achieve the latter is the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC).