CHP is shaking off ‘Cinderella’ syndrome

The latest UK energy statistics show that combined heat and power (CHP) , which is sometimes overlooked as the ‘Cinderella’ of UK energy generation, is rightfully taking its place at the energy generation ‘ball’.

The Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) released by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) reveal that between 2011 and 2012 CHP capacity grew by almost 3% to 6.1GW, meeting 6.4% of the UK’s total electricity needs. The proportion of renewable CHP increased almost 20% in 12 months, now accounting for over 8% of total fuel used in the CHP sector.

“It’s good to see increasing CHP capacity, said Ian Hopkins, Sales Director for ENER-G Combined Power Ltd. “Combined heat and power is around twice as efficient as conventional power generation and delivers the cost and carbon savings businesses are desperately seeking. It also provides off-grid resilience in the event of power failure, yet is sometimes overlooked in favour of more glamorous technology newcomers.”

Balanced mix

Ian continued: “The UK needs a balanced mix of energy generation, but the enormous benefits of cogeneration are still under exploited. Every day, organisations bemoan spiralling energy costs and carbon taxes and CHP can provide the simple and affordable answer to these problems.”

CHP provides the simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heat and is typically 85% efficient for on-site energy consumption. It achieves cost savings of up to 40% over electricity sourced from the grid and heat generated by on-site boilers. Systems powered by natural gas or other fossil fuels will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 20%, while the carbon reduction benefits are even better for those systems primed by renewable fuels.

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