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Wastewater produces energy with Energido

Replacing fossil fuels by renewable resources thanks to permanent rather than intermittent sources (solar, wind, power) is now a possibility. Veolia demonstrates it with Energido, an innovation which allows recovering heat from wastewater. For example, municipal swimming pools can thus be fed with with 100% renewable energy.
above, Aquarena in Arras © Veolia

Detailed Solution description

CAPTURING THE ENERGY POTENTIAL OF WASTEWATER The fight against climate change requires exploiting all types of clean and alternative energy, in particular unavoidable energies produced by urban installations. With this in mind, innovation is key, particularly in the field of energy recovery from wastewater. Thanks to its expertise, Veolia can sustainably provide for municipalities, contractors and building administrators’ heating and cooling needs. Called Energido, this solution was patented by Veolia. The innovation is using an offset heat exchanger to convey the calories generated by sewer system to a reversible heat pump which gives the energy back by producing water to feed either the heating or the cooling network. Unlike similar processes, the heat exchanger is not located in the collector, which usually leads to installation and maintenance restrictions. Energido offers enhanced control of the system’s thermal performance. As large consumers of heat, aquatic centers are particularly interested in exploiting the heat capacity from wastewater. This is exemplified by the implementation of Energido in Arras, where the urban community wastewater is used to heat the 4,000 m2 aquatic complex of Aquarena. With a power of 1,000 MWH, the solution helps reduce the center’s fossil fuel dependence by covering 75% of its annual needs in gas. The rate of renewable energy has gone up from 30% to 80%, which in turns means a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Although exemplary, this implementation is not unique. Energido has also been implemented in the prestigious “Cercle des nageurs de Marseille” (a swimming club in Marseille), where pool water is maintained at 27° C all year round and gray water is preheated. Substantial savings are being made: 35% on the annual energy bill and 230 metric tons of CO2 per year. Energido has also been deployed in other contexts such as the Ginestous-Garonne wastewater treatment plant in Toulouse. There, the energy recovered from wastewater is utilized to warm a 15,000 m2 building in the sludge treatment facility. The savings made by using Energido to feed the heating network of the composting platform is of 650,000 KWH per year. With 34 metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided each year, Energido also helps the plant to reduce its carbon footprint. Another illustration: in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, the new eco-friendly district Cap d’Azur retrieves calories from wastewater running in the municipal water treatment plant discharge pipe, to supply hot gray water, heating during winter and air conditioning in summer to 300 dwellings spread over 20,000 m2. Philippe Rapeneau, president of Arras metropolis: “We are trying to initiate the energy transition and to reduce our GHG emissions wherever possible.  Regarding Aquarena, as we were discussing with Veolia, our wastewater delegated manager, we found a solution for a renewable energy supply”

© Veolia

Launch Date

Implementation began on

First implemented in Toulouse in 2012 (then Roquebrune in 2013, Arras and Marseille in 2014).

Solution Partners

The implementation of the solution Energido in Arras, where it allows heating of the water areas of the Aquarena Center. It has required an investment of 600,000 euros - 60% of which were financed by Veolia and 40% by the ADEME heat funds, which aims to develop the production of heat from renewable sources.

Weak points for Solution deployment

- Distance between heat source and the necessary equipment (under 300 meters at first approach)
- Effluent flow sufficient at night (min 10-15 l / sec) and sufficiently stable
- Energy used on low temperature facilities
- If necessary: noise attenuation devices
- In case of treatment plant in immediate downstream: verify that water temperature after heat recovery does not cause disruption

Key figures illustrating Solution deployment and results

- 150,000 kWh fossil energy saved per year.
- A 30 to 80 % increase in the renewable energy rate.
- A 60 % decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
- 280 metric tons of CO2 saved per year.

Performance, impact and results

Replacing fossil fuel energy emitting GHG by a renewable energy , recovery of a local energy (local loop)

Competitive solution allowing energy costs control

Reliable solution ensuring significant energy productivity throughout the year, better thermal performance control

  • Professional contact
    Fanny Demulier
    CSR Officer
  • Press Contact
    Marie Bouvet
    Press Relations