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The use of combined heat and power systems can save up to 40% of energy when compared to the separate production of heat and power (UNEP).


Combined heat and power systems and energy recovery can greatly improve the efficiency of power plants and industrial processes requiring high thermal energy usage. In the US, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that 66% of energy produced is lost as heat during generation, by far the largest inefficiency in the system. Implementation of these systems could reduce energy consumption by as much as 20% in the U.S., and potential more in other countries that use less efficient processes.


The high upfront cost of combined heat and power systems, and finding suitable use for the heat generated them, can present a challenge to greater uptake of cogeneration systems. However, they often have very short payback periods, and many major companies have begun to implement to invest in these energy saving technologies. Other systems, such as cooling using integrated water or outside air are also gaining momentum.

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Carbon War Room in association with Elsevier Biofuel TechSelect Go to the Carbon War Room website