The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published its annual survey of the technical potential for combined heat and power (CHP) in the country.

According to the report, an estimated 240+ GW of technical potential for CHP installations exists at over 291,000 sites. This potential includes on-site CHP at industrial and commercial facilities, waste heat-to-power applications and district energy systems that could integrate CHP. 

In contrast to existing CHP installations, which are heavily concentrated around large industrial manufacturing facilities, a significant portion of the remaining technical potential for on-site CHP in the US is located in commercial facilities, the report found.

The DOE identified technical potential for 240,358 commercial CHP installations totalling over 76 GW; 50,375 industrial CHP systems totalling 65 GW; and 1105 waste heat-to-power CHP installations totalling almost 8 GW.  

The main market drivers contributing to current US growth in CHP installations [previous article] were identified as lower energy operating costs, CHP-friendly environmental regulations, resiliency initiatives, federal and state policies and incentives, utility support and project replicability.

‘The drivers that are currently influencing the market growth of CHP are part of a larger recognition of the benefits that CHP provides both to the user and the nation as a whole,’ the report noted.