Would like to see how this plays out as new industries are developing like LED lighting, etc. - I assume that "electric bulb" category in the above infographic is more for the Thomas Edison style than newer types.
Reread the article carefully: it's 500 mW (milliwatts), NOT MW (megawatts)! Only 10e9 difference.... I have some ancient experience investigating "thermoelectric harvetsing' more than 50 years ago. That was a study of how to exploit the ocean thermocline (temp difference between shallow and deeper water). It's not easy, and environmental effects need to be included in the analysis.
@krisi: I think it will be efficient enough for office buildings to adopt it in many parts of the world. I don't think it will be a great option for consumer lighting purposes because it will still be carried using existing vendors and that will increase energy costs.
This is great news for Industrial giants whose carrying costs increase with inefficient electric power, and here?s where thermoelectric power generation will shine, because it gives office buildings efficient lighting systems. Couple that with the intelligent/smart lights, and we?ve got a power grid for the sub-500 MW category adequately furnished with energy savings.