Renewable thermal solutions are a hot topic this week for the world’s largest buyers and users of renewable energy as they meet at the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) Summit, in Oakland, California. There, representatives from the Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC) – a joint effort of C2ES, David Gardiner and Associates, and the World Wildlife Fund – are discussing how energy users can switch from fossil fuels to renewable thermal energy for heating and cooling.
C2ES today released a report to the RTC, including a set of case studies that illustrate successful renewable thermal projects from members of the RTC: Cargill, General Motors, L’Oréal, Mars, the city of Philadelphia, and Procter and Gamble.
Thermal energy results from converting a primary energy source to heat, most often through combustion of natural gas. The most common uses of thermal energy are for heating and cooling inside buildings or at industrial manufacturing facilities. Unlike electricity, thermal energy cannot travel over long distances, so it is produced on-site or nearby and distributed locally.
Domestically and internationally, we see a great opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by switching from fossil fuels to a renewable energy source. Only 10 percent of global heat production is sourced from renewable energy. Fossil fuels currently power the majority of energy for global heating and cooling, while U.S. heating and cooling costs $270 billion annually and accounts for more than 30 percent of energy use across the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.
November 1, 2018 Renewable Thermal Collaborative webinar, featuring Jessica Leung
Today’s C2ES report highlights renewable thermal technologies that have been deployed globally in a consumer goods production plant using geothermal energy; a corn and starches facility using solid biomass; a cosmetics company buying renewable natural gas from a landfill; an automotive assembly plant using waste-to-steam energy; and two wastewater treatment plants using biogas, one for a food processing plant, and the other to generate electricity at a wastewater treatment plant for a major city.
Below is a summary of the different projects: