Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is an efficient and clean approach to generating electric power and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source. Instead of purchasing electricity from the distribution grid and separately burning fuel in an on-site furnace or boiler to produce thermal energy, a hospital, industrial or commercial facility can use combined heat and power to provide both services in one energy-efficient step – self-generating both power and thermal energy. The average efficiency of power generation in the U.S. has only improved by 3 percent since the 1960s (33 percent to 36 percent today). CHP systems capture this waste energy and use it to meet thermal needs, such as providing process heat, heating and/or cooling to factories and businesses, saving money and reducing emissions.
Across all CHP categories, there is estimated to be more than 240GW of technical potential at over 291,000 sites within the U.S. While CHP has been in use in the U.S. for more than 100 years, it remains an underutilized resource today, representing around 8 percent of U.S. generating capacity, compared to less than 30 percent in countries such as Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands.
Data according to to the U.S. Department of Energy. Information is current as of January 2017 and subject to change.
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