A white paper from the US-based International District Energy Association (IDEA) advocates including CHP in a federal Clean Energy Standard (CES), in order to provide what IDEA calls a four-way win: a reduction in consumer and industrial costs, enhancement of energy security, an increase in energy efficiency and reduced emissions.
Both the Obama Administration and Congress have put forward a federal CES as a central approach to advancing a new US energy policy. In the past, bills addressing a CES were introduced that would require electric utilities to develop a portfolio of supplies from prescribed technologies such as solar and wind.
Subsequently, the clean energy concept has broadened to encompass other sources, including nuclear, ‘efficient natural gas,’ clean coal with carbon capture and storage, and energy efficiency measures.
The IDEA therefore advocates CES legislation that:
·         Includes CHP as an eligible clean technology;
·         Takes a truly technology-neutral approach to calculating CES credits based on the avoided primary energy consumption or greenhouse gas reductions compared with generation of electricity using a reference plant, and production of heat using a natural gas boiler;
·         Allows credits to be issued to entities other than electric utilities.
This approach would be far more cost-effective and flexible in increasing power sector efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, says IDEA. Indeed this is demonstrated in the analysis presented in this white paper.
CHP can be implemented by a wide range of entities all across the country, including not only electric utilities but also thousands of existing district energy systems, industrial facilities, colleges, universities and hospitals. It is critically important that the full range of end-users be eligible for CES credit, says IDEA.
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