Channelling the waste heat from power stations into buildings could provide five per cent of the UK's heating demand by 2020 and cut carbon emissions by ten million tonnes, according to a new report.
The study from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) explained that the benefits of such a scheme are huge, with heat production currently accounting for nearly half of all energy use in the UK.
Additionally, the report went one step further and suggested that - in theory - if half of the waste heat from power stations was utilised it would provide a quarter of the UK's heat demand.
Dr Keith Tovey, from ICE's energy panel, explained that current conditions meant this target was unachievable, but smaller scale improvements could be made.
"What we need to do is look closely at introducing district heating networks in areas surrounding viable existing power stations in the UK and ensure we assess potential heat capture possibilities for any new facilities," he explained.
While using Combined Heat and Power systems on new power plants would mean they produce less electricity, their fuel efficiency would jump from 35 per cent to roughly 80 per cent, he added.
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