Energy and Climate Change minister Greg Barker, speaking at the UK CHPA’s annual President’s Reception at the House of Lords, emphasized the crucial role the combined heat and power (CHP) sector will play in debarbonising heat.

Barker acknowledged the strong growth of the smaller scale CHP industry during a difficult economic climate, but conceded that the UK is starting from a low base and that more needs to be done to unlock the sector’s full potential.

Focusing on larger scale CHP, Barker described its outlook as mixed, following the end of the exemption of combined heat and power stations from the Climate Change Levy in the March Budget

However, he reinstated the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) commitment to having discussions with the CHP  industry about the most appropriate support mechanism.

Barker also stressed the key role district heating will play in decarbonising Britain’s urban areas and, in addition to confirmation that networks are eligible for support in the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme, he said DECC had commissioned research into the barriers to deploying district heating.

Graham Meeks, director of the UK CHPA (Combined Heat and Power Association) said: “We were delighted that once again the minister joined us to reinforce his commitment to distributed energy.”

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