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WADE and Cogeneration – Back to the Future

The World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE), as our name implies, is focused on advancing the full range of decentralised energy technologies. However, WADE’s roots are strongly set in the world of cogeneration, as the organisation was founded in 1997 as the International Cogeneration Alliance. In 2002 we changed the name to broaden our focus, but never lost sight of the strong importance of cogeneration as a solution to the world’s energy and environmental problems. In the US cogeneration was rebranded in recent years as ‘combined heat and power’, ‘clean heat and power’, ‘waste heat to power’, etc to move away from some of the bad deals and negative connotations associated with cogeneration. All the while, WADE developed even stronger ties to the natural gas industry, which has made incredible strides in expanding the supply of gas locally as well as globally through LNG deliveries. The combination of abundant natural gas supplies, rising grid costs, need for resilient on-site solutions due to weather events, and growing concerns over air and climate issues all point to cogeneration as an ideal solution.

In an effort to further strengthen our focus on cogeneration, earlier this year the Texas Combined Heat and Power Initiative (TXCHPI) joined forces with WADE and became part of the WADE organisation. TXCHPI was one of the most prominent cogeneration organisations in the US and played an important role in improving the market conditions for cogeneration in Texas. TXCHPI had been in existence since 2007, and since its inception it quickly secured its role as a champion for the cogeneration industry in Texas and the Gulf area and was successful in developing polices that advanced the cogeneration industry in the region. Paul Cauduro, who headed up TXCHPI, is now head of the WADE Cogeneration Industries Council (CIC) and is focused on a range of activities to help drive the industry forward and capture the opportunities that are now so clearly in front of us. The CIC will serve as the leading industry voice on behalf of the rapidly growing cogeneration power industry in the US and help drive the deployment of cogeneration across the country.

The CIC is an expansion of the work done in Texas and by WADE globally, to make cogeneration an important part of the ongoing energy discussion. In this discussion emphasis will continue to be placed on the air quality improvements derived from more cogeneration installations, but now also includes attention to the increasingly important role that cogeneration can play in reducing the amount of water used for power production. Beyond the energy and environmental benefits, the deployment of more cogeneration systems can also lead to impressive growth in the economy and employment. The CIC will ensure that these value propositions are communicated.

So with TXCHPI joining WADE and the formation of the CIC, WADE is deepening its focus on cogen and circling back to its cogeneration roots. We have new membership opportunities for individuals as well as companies so that we can all join forces in this effort. We hope that you will join us on this journey.

David Sweet à‚  David Sweet
Executive Director, World Alliance for Decentralized Energy dsweet@localpower.org