Dutch Environmental Regulations & the Industrial Sector

Achieving Compliance with Low-Temp ORC Waste Heat Recovery

The Netherlands is well-known as a global leader in sustainability and environmental awareness. To achieve its ambitious climate goals, the Dutch government is implementing stringent regulations designed to reduce industrial carbon emissions.

In this article, we will examine the impact that these regulations are likely to have on industrial companies and share how Climeon’s low-temperature waste heat recovery system, HeatPower 300, can offer a means of compliance, as well as a source of on-site sustainable electricity that lessens the cost of sourcing power from the grid.

Meeting Dutch Regulatory Requirements

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is key to creating a sustainable future and the Dutch government has set ambitious targets to facilitate emissions reductions. Key regulations impacting industrial companies, such as the Climate Agreement and the Environmental Management Act, place the sector under increasing pressure to decarbonize

However, it is the upcoming Energy Saving Notification Obligation and Energy Saving Investigation Obligation that will compel industrial companies to reduce energy consumption and accelerate emissions reductions. Introduced under the Environment and Planning Act (Omgevingswet), the Energy Saving Notification Obligation will require business locations using 50,000 kWh of electricity or 25,000 m³ of natural gas (or an equivalent) or more per year to implement energy saving measures with a maximum payback period of five years, while the Energy Saving Investigation Obligation requires company locations using 10,000,000 kWh of electricity or 170,000 m3 of natural gas (or an equivalent) or more per year to investigate all possible potential energy saving measures, as well as implementing energy saving measures with a maximum payback period of five years,.

Incoming Dutch legislation is set to increase pressure on industrial companies to decarbonize.
Incoming Dutch legislation is set to increase pressure on industrial companies to decarbonize.

As industrial companies are amongst the highest energy users, it is expected that these obligations will be most applicable throughout this sector. Set to come into force on 1st January 2024, industrial companies will need to commit to environmental auditing and reporting, as well as taking recognized measures to conserve energy, as required by the legislation.

For businesses operating in an energy-intensive sector, adhering to environmental regulations and maximizing profitability appears to be something of a dichotomy, yet innovative sustainable technologies can help industrial firms to overcome key challenges.

Challenges for Industrial Companies

Industrial companies often emit relatively high GHG emissions due to the amount of energy they use. Due to this, there are notable challenges that industrial companies will need to overcome to successfully reduce emissions and achieve regulatory compliance, including:

1. High Compliance Costs

Implementing new technologies and infrastructures to achieve emissions reductions targets can sometimes require significant investment, which will add to costs of industrial companies.

2. Energy Intensive Processes

As many industrial processes are energy-intensive, industrial companies will need to find innovative and effective ways to improve energy efficiency to maximize emissions reductions.

3. Energy Efficiency Gaps

Identifying and resolving energy efficiency gaps in energy-intensive industries can be particularly challenging, particularly as industrial companies will want to ensure existing processes are not negatively impacted by energy conservation measures.

Low-Temperature ORC Waste Heat Recovery: A Sustainable Solution

Waste heat is typically produced in high volumes via industrial processes, yet a significant proportion of this waste heat has traditionally been underutilized. While high-temperature industrial waste heat is often repurposed via on-site waste heat consumers, technological and financial constraints have limited the potential of low-temperature waste heat.

As new technologies, like Climeon’s HeatPower 300 system, deliver a viable and cost-efficient method of utilizing this low temperature waste heat to produce sustainable electricity, it’s evident that the industrial sector can capitalize on the opportunity to reduce emissions and generate on-site sustainable power.

At a time when industrial companies are under unprecedented pressure to decarbonize, it’s critical that all cost-effective methods of emissions reductions are utilized wherever possible and the widespread applicability of low-temp waste heat recovery within the industrial sector highlights its potential as a key method of enhancing industrial energy efficiency, reducing emissions and complying with environmental regulations.

What Is Low-Temp ORC Waste Heat Recovery?

This form of waste heat recovery (WHR), uses the thermodynamic Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) to convert waste heat into clean, carbon-free electricity.

By using a non-toxic, environmentally friendly working media and exploiting the variation in pressure between a cold input source (such as cooling systems) and a hot input source (waste heat), low-temp ORC WHR systems power a turbine that generates sustainable electricity.

A moving diagram showing Climeon's HeatPower technology and depicting the industrial waste heat recovery conversion process.
Climeon's HeatPower system uses a modified Organic Rankine Cycle to transform industrial waste heat into clean, carbon-free energy.

As green electricity can be produced whenever input sources are available, industrial companies can theoretically produce sustainable, on-site power 24x7x365. Furthermore, as WHR is non-weather-dependent, the industrial sector can ensure it has consistent access to a dependable and stable method of sustainable energy.

To learn more about how low-temp ORC waste heat recovery works, visit our Industrial Processes page here.

Industrial Waste Heat Recovery: Benefits

With low-temp ORC WHR systems, like Climeon’s HeatPower 300 technology, low-temperature industrial waste heat can now be repurposed into clean electricity to deliver a wide range of benefits, including:

1. Increased Energy Efficiency

Becoming more energy efficient is a viable way to reduce emissions and enhance sustainability. As low-temp ORC WHR enables more power to be generated without additional energy being purchased from the grid, industrial companies can increase energy efficiency by converting unused low-temp waste heat into sustainable electricity.

2. On-Site Sustainable Energy Production

The recent energy crisis increased demand for energy stability and HeatPower 300 gives industrial firms the opportunity to generate sustainable electricity on-site, thus safeguarding resources and ensuring a consistent and dependable supply of green energy.

3. Payback Periods Under Five Years

The Energy Saving Obligation requires energy-intensive companies to implement energy saving measures with a payback period of five years or less. Designed to deliver cost-efficient on-site energy production and generate a low cost-per-produced kilowatt, Climeon’s HeatPower 300 technology meets this requirement and enables industrial companies to meet regulatory payback requirements, including the time required for on-site construction, installation and system commissioning.

4. Reduced GHG Emissions

Reducing GHG emissions is essential if the industrial sector is to hit environmental targets and low-tech ORC WHR can be an effective way to do so. By generating sustainable, on-site electricity, industrial companies are less reliant on fuel-powered engines or power purchased from the grid. As HeatPower 300 offers a sustainable method of electricity production, it can reduce emissions and enable industrial companies to achieve emissions reduction targets.

5. 24/7 Automated Clean Energy Generation

Unlike many forms of renewable power, waste heat recovery is a non-weather-dependent source of sustainable power. As well as enhancing energy stability, this enables industrial companies to produce on-site electricity 24/7, providing hot and cold input sources remain available. As many industrial sites are operational 24/7/365, low-temp ORC WHR evidently complements the needs and operational profile of the industrial sector.

Additionally, Climeon’s HeatPower 300 system offers automated clean energy generation, which ensures the system responds to any changes in input availability without intervention. Similarly, automated low-temp ORC WHR technology maximizes sustainable energy outputs as the system will simply begin producing electricity as soon as hot and cold input sources are available.

6. Lower Energy Costs

As the recent energy crisis has shown, the price of natural gas and electricity has a substantial impact on operational costs, particularly in the industrial sector where many companies are high energy-users. By producing on-site sustainable power with Climeon’s HeatPower 300 technology, however, industrial firms can mitigate the impact of a volatile energy market and reduce their energy costs.

7. Enhanced Applicability and Adaptability

Low-temperature ORC waste heat recovery systems can be used across a wide variety of industrial environments. For example, the condensation in a PET process media cooling after a distillation process can be used as a waste heat source to deliver a consistent supply of sustainable power.

The modular and scalable design of Climeon’s HeatPower 300 system ensures optimal applicability and adaptability in industrial settings. With each HeatPower 300 unit capable of generating up to 355kW of clean electricity, multiple modules can be integrated into a single system to maximize the use of available waste heat and increase total sustainable power outputs.

8. Reduced Tax Liability

The Dutch governments offers various incentives to companies that enhance their sustainability and reduce GHG emissions, such as:

  • Energy investment allowance (EIA) (Energie-investeringsaftrek)
  • Environmental investment allowance (MIA) (Milieu-investeringsaftrek)
  • Arbitrary depreciation of environmental investments (VAMIL)

Furthermore, companies may be able to secure Energy Tax deductions by producing on-site sustainable power. By embracing emissions reduction technologies, such as low-temp ORC WHR systems, industrial companies can utilize these incentives to reduce their overall tax liability and offset part or all of the cost of new sustainable tech.

Industrial Waste Heat Recovery: Applicability and Implementation

Low-temp ORC WHR systems can be integrated into various industrial environments, with few modifications required to ensure the system is customized for the specific needs of the installation site.

To ensure Climeon’s HeatPower 300 can deliver optimal performance, our Sales Engineers undertake a feasibility study for every potential application. This enables us to determine how much sustainable electricity can be produced via our system and, therefore, what level of emissions reductions can be achieved, based on the company’s operations and potential implementation options.

The following two examples highlight how HeatPower 300 can be used across the industrial sector to deliver both economic and environmental benefits:

NEO GROUP – PET Resins Production Facility

Earlier this year, Climeon signed a contract with EPC firm, Termolink, to install two HeatPower 300 units at NEO GROUP’s PET resins production facility in Klaipeda, Lithuania. Using waste heat from the site’s industrial processes, HeatPower 300 will generate on-site sustainable power and meaningful emissions reductions to support the company’s ambitious sustainability goals.

SSAB - Swedish Steel

A leading producer of Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) and Quenched & Tempered Steels (Q&T), strip, plate and tube products, as well as construction solutions, SSAB is also a leader in sustainability and plans to eliminate all CO2 emissions by 2045.

For more than seven years, Climeon’s HeatPower technology has utilized waste heat from the reheating furnace and continuous annealing line to provide stable green electricity to support production equipment.

The installed system dynamically adjusts its electricity production to match the plant’s dissipated waste heat. The sustainable electricity produced via the on-site HeatPower system is used to power internal operations at the plant, resulting in cost and emissions savings for the firm.


As the Dutch government continues to tighten regulations to combat climate change, industrial companies in the Netherlands must adapt to stay compliant. Climeon’s low-temperature ORC waste heat recovery system, HeatPower 300, offers an effective and sustainable solution to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency, and lower operational costs.

By embracing this technology, industrial companies can not only meet regulatory requirements and enhance commercial performance but also contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

To learn more about Climeon’s HeatPower 300 technology and its industrial applications, get in touch with our team at info@climeon.com.