The studies and pilot programs completed through the work of INNERS proved that recovering heat from waste water is feasible in a short amount of time, with a quick payback in energy savings and CO2 reductions. Importantly, this sustainable heating system can now be easily reproduced in other locations in North-West Europe due to the ease of installation and the innovative use of existing waste-management infrastructure.
For example, in Raalte, the project managed to recover energy from a nearby wastewater plant to heat the local swimming pool. This allowed Raalte to use 33% less gas and save 137 tons of CO2 and €25 000 per year.
Other project pilots applied different techniques to recover energy. In Leuven, Belgium, the heat recovered from the sewer system allowed the heating of 93 apartments. INNERS also developed innovative solutions for the waste water treatment plants, for example in Wuppertal-Buchenhofen in Germany, by connecting the sludge incineration plant with the existing heat grid. In Dewsbury, UK, INNERS recovered heat from the storm water soil infiltration system and used it to heat 3 homes.
These factors combined, this project has the potential to impact energy savings and carbon emissions throughout Europe, and stakeholders from France, Germany, and Sweden have already shown interest in expanding outside of the 11 original partners.