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Government calls out CHP as untapped carbon saver

The government says harnessing the potential of combined heat and power (CHP) can save the UK, 12m tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020.
The government published its 'Heat Call for Evidence' on January 31, setting out the scope to realise 25m tonnes of CO2 savings by 2020 through the development of sustainable, low-carbon heat supplies and said CHP had the biggest carbon-saving role to play.

The report identifies high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) as the single measure offering the greatest potential to deliver cost-effective carbon savings, with almost 12m tonnes of CO2 savings by 2020.

The report highlights the massive waste of energy arising from conventional power generation. The Secretary of State for Business, John Hutton MP, stated in the report that 'power stations discard almost the same amount of energy into the atmosphere and waters as householders use to keep warm'.

The document shows the untapped potential to reduce emissions associated with heat, through CHP in individual homes, district heating schemes, industrial-scale CHP and through use of surplus heat.

CHP remains one of the few low-carbon technologies that can be deployed today, and in many cases could be used to dramatically improve the environmental performance of new power generation.

Graham Meeks, director of the CHPA, said: 'The fact that the government's own analysis points to CHP and district heating as offering almost 50% of the potential carbon abatement in the heating sector by 2020 serves as a huge wake-up call over the benefits of CHP.

'The analysis showing that these savings can be achieved at no cost to the economy simply underlines this point, and stresses the urgent need for policies and measures that will drive this investment'.

1 February 2008


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