A tremendous boost has been delivered to the cogeneration industry with the news that President Barack Obama has issued an executive order that would increase the number of cogeneration plants in the U.S. by 50 per cent by 2020.
The order is designed to assist US industrial energy efficiency, while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions by 150 million tonnes per year.
Reuters reports that the order is a fresh attempt by Obama to promote clean energy and get around political resistance to climate change and “green” energy legislation on Capitol Hill.
The measure aims to accelerate investments to help manufacturers expand their use of combined heat and power (CHP) facilities, which generate thermal and generating power in a single process.
“The Federal Government has limited but important authorities to overcome … barriers, and our efforts to support investment in industrial energy efficiency and CHP should involve coordinated engagement with a broad set of stakeholders,” the order says.
The U.S. currently has an installed capacity of 82 GW of CHP, with 87 per cent of those in manufacturing plants, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The order directs the federal agencies to help states to use CHP to achieve their national ambient air quality standards, and provide incentives through their regulations to help boost the technology.
“Encouraging investments in CHP offers the opportunity for increasing the efficiency of energy-intensive manufacturing, while simultaneously meeting the need for new electric power generation capacity,” said Neal Elliott, associate director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
“CHP projects will make the most efficient use of our gas resource and the capital investment required to generate electricity from gas.”
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