Report Details Potential of Combined Heat and Power in US

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has released “Combined Heat and Power: Effective Energy Solutions for a Sustainable Future”. This new report points to Combined Heat and Power (CHP) as a technology that could help enhance national energy efficiency, bring about economic growth and improve the U.S.’ energy infrastructure.

The main question asked in the report is, “What if 20% of generating capacity came from CHP?” According to the repor, if the United States attained this goal by 2030, benefits would include:
  • A 60% reduction of projected increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030
  • Fuel savings of 5.3 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) annually, the equivalent of nearly half the total energy currently consumed by U.S. households
  • Economically viable application in industrial facilities, commercial buildings, multi- and single-family housing, institutional facilities and college campuses
  • The creation of 1 million new highly-skilled jobs through 2030 and US $234 billion in new investments throughout the United States

CHP, also known as cogeneration, is the concurrent production and use of electricity or mechanical power and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source. CHP includes a suite of technologies that can use a variety of fuels to generate electricity or power at the point of use, allowing normally lost heat to be recovered to provide needed heating or cooling.

The report is a joint effort between the Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and involved input and review by a range of industry, association, and non-governmental stakeholders.

To view the report or to learn more about the ITP’s CHP activities, visit ITP’s Industrial Distributed Energy Web site.

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