More than 140 people from all over the world attended our latest webinar on combined heat and power (CHP). The webinar, which was held on 20 November, explored how CHP is becoming an increasingly popular energy option in the United States as federal and state policymakers begin to recognize the efficiency, emissions reduction and grid resiliency benefits of onsite CHP systems.
Download the audio (MP4) for the webinar, or read the presentation slides (PDF).
The speakers, all experts in their field, gave an engaging presentation on the issues and opportunities associated with CHP, particularly in helping meet federal and state energy efficiency goals.
Bruce Hedman, IIP’s Technical Director, gave an overview of the benefits of CHP, its potential in the US, and the market drivers and obstacles. He pointed out that, while CHP is a fossil fuel-fired energy source, it is comparable with renewable energy generation in many respects. For example, for a given generation capacity, CHP typically produces more electricity, provides useful heat, and generates annual energy and CO2 savings on par with wind and solar technologies.
Katrina Pielli, the Senior Policy Advisor at the US Department of Energy, spoke about CHP’s development in the US, noting that around 1GW of new CHP was installed in 2012, the largest single-year capacity addition since 2005. The number of new CHP installations is expected to continue rising, reflecting lower gas prices and the fact that federal and state inititaives, such as DOE Technial Assistance Partnerships and a forthcoming $8 billion loan guarantee solicitation, are helping drive the market for CHP.
Michael Worden, the Chief of Electric Distribution Systems and New York State Public Service Commission, discussed CHP’s potential in providing reliable energy services during emergencies. With hurricanes and super-storms such as Sandy and Irene likely to become more frequent, CHP can be used to maintain critical services and support local grid resiliency during extended power outages.
Dwayne Breger, the Director of Renewable and Alternative Energy Development at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, detailed two policy mechanisms that the forward-thinking state of Massachusetts has developed. The first is a rebate program for CHP systems under Mass Save's energy-saving initiatives (funded by utilities in the state). The second is the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, under which electricity utilities must acquire Alternative Energy Certificates that represent the energy savings generated from CHP units.
This webinar was the third in a series by the IIP and the Clean Energy Solutions Center. The 2014 schedule will be posted in the New Year.