Danfoss, the Alliance to Save Energy and the Water Environment Federation have released a report developed from the Water Energy Future Workshop held in November 2012. The workshop convened energy and water experts from federal agencies, local government, non-governmental organizations, finance and industry to identify critical issues, barriers and solutions in the water and energy space and define a set of actionable steps to advance energy efficiency and generation in water/wastewater treatment facilities.
According to the report, water and wastewater facilities represent 3% to 4% of U.S. electricity consumed, using more than 55 billion kWh per year.
Fortunately, opportunities exist to improve energy performance in the water and wastewater treatment sector, including technology improvements and energy management activities that can lead to some wastewater treatment plants generating enough energy for onsite use and selling electricity back into the grid. The most common generation method is anaerobic digestion, which yields biogas and is used in more than 1,200 wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. However, only 292 of these facilities harness the gas to generate electricity.
The November workshop focused attention on the need for coordination among stakeholders in the water and energy sector to increase energy efficiency and generation in the water/wastewater treatment sector. In addition to summarizing workshop presentations, the report summarizes the conclusions from the plenary discussions, categorizing them in four areas: economics and financing; technologies; policies and programs; and partnerships, public outreach and communication.
Key actions and barriers and an extensive list of proposed action items includes:
- • Incentivize energy efficiency and generation, and provide cost data on energy efficiency improvements and energy generation implementation
- • Offer grants, tax credits, state funding and other options to help finance energy efficiency
- • A messaging and information campaign for the public and decision makers
- • Increase energy benchmarking and adoption of energy efficient technologies.
To read the full report, visit the Danfoss website at http://bit.ly/149IFs8.