Industrial Excess Heat – Analysis of industrial waste heat potential in Austria

The energy transition usually focusses on electricity, but due to the high level of industrialization in Austria, industrial waste heat is a crucial factor for achieving our climate goals based on energetic and exergetic reasoning. However, as Austria’s waste heat potentials have not yet been fully identified and the framework conditions have not been sufficiently determined, there are obstacles to the implementation of industrial waste heat utilization. This project is therefore intended to provide a database with the necessary level of detail. The existing potentials will be assessed, classified and geo-referenced using bottom-up and top-down methods. Business models and recommendations for political support instruments will be derived for off-site usage of waste heat, and technology and system options will be researched for temporally fluctuating waste heat potentials to offer further flexibility.

Application of the Top-Down-method

The project partner AEE will send out questionnaires to companies in Austria. Since we expect that not all questionnaires will be answered, the assessment will be completed by the top-down method. This will be done using statistical data - for example, via the useful energy analysis of Statistics Austria, the employees per municipality and industrial subsectors, the NEFI technology scenarios and specific key figures. Hereby, a complete picture is obtained at the municipality level, with some uncertainties/inaccuracies based on the top-down method.

Theoretical potentials

Combining the data from the questionnaires, the top-down method and process knowledge results in a largely accurate assessment that identifies the required theoretical potential for the years 2020, 2030 and 2040 according to the classification rule. In order to create an as complete as possible database of the collected potentials, a classification catalogue is created. This provides a spatial resolution of the identified waste heat potentials as well as their temperature levels (low, medium or high temperature) and their temporal availability. In addition, this classification catalogue includes the amounts of energy available in 2020, 2030 and 2040, which is done by mapping future industrial processes and production systems. As the ARGE leader, the Chair of Energy Systems Technology (EVT) is also responsible for project management and dissemination of the results.

Duration:  01.04.2021 – 31.10.2022


This project is funded by the Climate and Energy Fund and carried out within the program 'Energy Transition 2050'.



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