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Thorough use of Combined Heat and Power (cogeneration)

Heat is a terrible thing to waste. Expanding combined heat and power (CHP) beyond official forecasts presents a huge opportunity to profitably displace nearly 60% of the nation’s 2010 coal-fired electricity.

Some of these opportunities have already been tapped. Pulp-and-paper mills, for instance, often meet much or all of their own power and steam requirements from their waste biomass. Furthermore, companies are emerging around the U.S. to develop technologies for capturing more of this prized energy.

But, many hurdles such technology limitations and regulatory roadblocks still leave untapped potential in key industrial sub-sectors.

Technologies that convert waste heat to electricity

Based on a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) report on technologies that generate electricity from waste heat (and other waste energy sources), our analysis adopted the options summarized in the table.


Estimates for combined heat and power and waste heat recovery

RMI analysis predicts a net increase of industrial combined heat and power (CHP) installations of 109 GW, split between traditional cogeneration units and waste heat recovery to electricity systems.



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