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CHPA conference highlights CHP's missed opportunities

Energy and Climate Change minister Mike O'Brien, speaking at the Combined Heat and Power Association's (CHPA) annual conference today (November 19), spoke of the government's support for CHP deployment, but the chairman of CHPA highlighted the missed opportunities for CHP up and down the country.
CHPA conference highlights CHP
Acknowledging CHP's ability to address the challenges of energy security, climate change and rising energy costs, Mike O'Brien MP said 'The government will be consulting soon on a new strategy to save energy, particularly that used to heat and cool homes and buildings, and developing ways to decarbonise the UK's heat supply. He said 'The CHP industry is a key sector to play a part in meeting these goals.'

Mike Rolls, CHPA chairman, told the gathering 'Energy consumers are increasingly concerned about energy costs and securing future supplies. The CHP industry is demonstrating that with the right incentives it can deliver reliable and cost-effective energy supplies, at the same time as cutting carbon emissions. 'New policies are already driving strong market growth in the commercial and public sectors, and micro CHP technologies are now maturing.

'But, there are still many opportunities in the industrial sector and in our towns and cities where proven CHP technology should be put to work. Without a focused approach these opportunities will be missed - at precisely the time when we most need to take them.'

The UK government has a target to see 10 GWe of CHP capacity installed by 2010. The latest government estimate of installed CHP capacity is 5.5 GWe.

A DEFRA study, published on October 2007, revealed the potential for an additional 8.2 GWe of capacity by 2010 and 10.6 GWe by 2015, but it noted that 'in practice, decisions on CHP will be influenced by a number of site-specific issues, which tend to reduce cost effectiveness and slow decision making on CHP development'.

Since 2000, the government has introduced fiscal incentives for CHP, including exempting CHP input fuels and power outputs from the Climate Change Levy (CCL). The introduction of the Carbon Reduction Commitment in 2010 and more effective planning guidance for low-carbon development is stimulating areas of the CHP market, particularly for individual buildings and small developments.

But the CHP industry believes in order for the UK to benefit from wider growth in CHP capacity, there must be an extension of existing exemptions from CCL until 2027, universal availability of Enhanced Capital Allowances and exemption from the new heat fuel levy for Good Quality CHP.

After a break of seven years, the CHPA annual conference and awards took place on November 19, with energy industry leaders gathering to discuss issues facing CHP.

The event is also a chance to celebrate the efforts of the CHP industry across five award categories: Innovation, Sustainable Development, Community, Champion, and the President's Award for Emerging Talent.
19 November 2008

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