Executive order targets 40 GW of new CHP

President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Aug. 30 to accelerate investments in industrial energy efficiency, including a national goal of 40 GW combined heat and power (CHP) over the next decade.

The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy says the acceleration of investment in industrial energy efficiency benefits manufacturers, utilities, and consumers.

The office cites improved competitiveness in manufacturing by reducing energy costs by up to $100bn over the next decade. The president’s goal could create $40bn to $80bn in new capital investment in manufacturing facilities. CHP could also deliver new generation capacity at about half the cost of construction of new baseload power plants, while reducing emissions.

The Executive Order:

  • Sets a national goal of 40 GW of new CHP installation over the next decade;
  • Directs agencies to foster a national dialogue through ongoing regional workshops to encourage the adoption of best practice policies and investment models.;
  • Directs the Departments of Energy, Commerce, and Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency, to coordinate actions at the Federal level while providing policy and technical assistance to states to promote investments in industrial energy efficiency.

In support of the Executive Order, DOE and EPA released a new report Combined Heat and Power: A Clean Energy Solution that provides a foundation for national discussions on effective ways to achieve 40 GW of new, cost-effective CHP by 2020, and includes an overview of the key issues currently impacting CHP deployment and the factors that need to be considered by stakeholders involved in the dialogue.

According to the U.S. Clean Heat & Power Association (U.S. CHP Association), CHP currently supplies 12% of U.S. energy capacity. CHP systems can reach efficiencies above 80%. There is approximately 82 GW of CHP installed in the U.S.

“CHP technology can be deployed quickly, cost-effectively and with few geographic restrictions. Establishing this national goal toward greater CHP deployment will significantly advance cleaner energy generation in the U.S., benefit the environment, and help create much-needed manufacturing and industrial jobs. I applaud the White House for its efforts to support clean power generation through CHP and pledge the combined heat and power industry’s support to help achieve this goal,” said USCHPA Executive Director Jessica Bridges.

The Department of Energy also announced new private sector commitments by five companies—Kingspan Insulated Panels, Cree, General Aluminum Manufacturing Company, PaperWorks, and HARBEC Inc.—to the Better Buildings, Better Plants program where firms commit to improving energy intensity by 25% over 10 years.