The Jan. 24 editorial “Can’t bury the nuclear issue” recommends a few things in the field of energy that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government can do, including “using waste heat to generate electricity.” This is probably incorrect.
What usually happens is “cogeneration”: Electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, and waste heat (which is usually disposed of) is used to do something else such as heat houses, bake cookies, whatever. To put it another way, whenever there is a need for low- temperature heat (say, 100 to 150 degrees Celsius), there is also a chance to do cogeneration.
I am currently burning gas to heat my floor at home. If I were using a small cogeneration unit, I would be able to produce electricity about two times more efficiently than Tokyo Electric Power Co. can. Unfortunately I cannot sell that electricity to Tepco (unlike electricity originating from solar panels), so I did not buy a cogenerating unit. I am just burning gas.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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