Waste Heat Engines

Waste Heat Engines

February 18, 2015 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

WASTE HEAT engines moved closer to qualifying for US tax credits.

The Senate tax-writing committee voted February 11 to allow a 10% investment tax credit to be claimed on the cost of new equipment that uses waste heat to generate electricity. The heat would have to come from one of two sources: exhaust from an industrial process or a pressure drop in gas used in an industrial or commercial process. The equipment would have to be placed in service by December 2016. It could not have a generating capacity or more than 50 megawatts.

If the engine is integrated into the industrial process, then the tax credit could be claimed on only the incremental cost above what equipment to capture waste heat without converting it into electricity would cost.

The outlook for the proposal is unclear. It must still clear the full Senate and House of Representatives. There is no larger tax or omnibus energy bill currently in sight to which it might be added as a rider. Small tax proposals like this do not pass Congress as standalone measures.

Keith Martin in Washington