Progress Made in Last Five Years Toward Breaking Down Market Barriers to CHP

October 23, 2002

Washington, D.C. — In the five years since President Clinton first expounded combined heat and power's (CHP) societal and environmental benefits, important progress has been made toward breaking down the market barriers preventing the expansion of CHP. However, many of the barriers that discouraged the broader adoption of this important energy efficiency technology continue to slow its progress today. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has published a new white paper, CHP Five Years Later: Policies and Programs Update, which reviews progress toward addressing market barriers and identifies areas where work is still required. This paper is being released in conjunction with the 3rd Annual National CHP Roadmap Workshop, being held in Boston, Massachusetts on October 23-25, 2002.

"It is rewarding after five years to see the broad base of support that CHP has received from both political parties," said Neal Elliott, co-author and ACEEE's Industry Program Director. "ACEEE was among the leaders five years ago that recognized CHP's tremendous potential to save energy and help reduce pollution. We have made significant progress, but much work remains." The paper reviews the development, growth, and remaining tasks of state, regional, and national policies; programs; and initiatives.

An important development has been the emergence of state and regional initiatives. "Activities are just getting started in most states," said Elizabeth Brown, co-author and ACEEE's Industry Research Assistant, "but we are already beginning to see progress in leadership states such as Texas, California and New York." Part of this white paper summarizes the results of ACEEE's recent report of state CHP programs, State Opportunities for Action: Review of Combined Heat and Power State Activities, published earlier this month and available at http://www.aceee.org/pubs/ie022.pdf.

"The greatest progress toward addressing the environmental permitting barriers to CHP has been the increase in awareness by environmental regulators to the benefits of CHP," said Anna Shipley, ACEEE's Industry Research Associate. "We now need to see this awareness translated into regulations that recognize the unique benefits conveyed by the energy efficiency of CHP systems."

CHP systems, also known as cogeneration, generate electricity and thermal energy in a single, integrated system. These systems are more energy efficient than separate generation of electricity and thermal energy because heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation is recovered as useful energy for satisfying an existing thermal demand. CHP systems can be employed in many commercial and industrial facilities.

CHP Five Years Later: Policies and Programs Update, by R. Neal Elliott, Anna Shipley, and Elizabeth Brown is available for free at /industry/chp5yr.pdf.