ACEEE and the Great Plains Institute (GPI) have teamed up to catalyze action in the Midwest in support of President Obama’s August 2012 executive order on industrial energy efficiency and combined heat and power (CHP), which set a goal of adding 40 GW of new CHP by 2020. Today, over 12% of the nation’s electricity is generated with CHP, but the technical potential is even greater. The Midwest's share of the 40 GW goal, based on population, is roughly 6.6 GWs. GPI and ACEEE, with over a dozen other organizations, have organized around this goal in this new initiative.
The first step was to document existing CHP capacity and state policies and programs for seven Midwestern states with state-specific fact sheets: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The second step was to convene a regional strategy meeting of key CHP, industry, nonprofit and federal stakeholders and assemble them into teams to work together to identify opportunities and develop regional and state efforts to facilitate achievement of the 6.6 GW goal. That meeting took place in Chicago last October.
The next step---happening now---is for each team to find the best opportunities for its state. The teams will then work with stakeholders to lower the regulatory and policy barriers to greater investments and to bring awareness to existing projects.