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Pushing CHP to the forefront of the Government’s industrial energy strategy

The Government’s ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ green paper includes two important areas of energy policy requiring urgent attention: the affordability of energy for businesses and securing industrial opportunities for the UK economy of energy innovation.

As a technology that can reduce energy bills by around 20% compared to conventional power generation and fundamentally improve the efficiency of the commercial heating process, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) needs to be a key consideration for energy ministers looking to fulfil the aims set out in the green paper.

Gary Stoddart, technical sales director at Remeha (pictured), said: “We welcome the Government’s commitments to set-out a long-term road map to help minimise energy costs to businesses and consumers, and a review of the opportunities to reduce the cost of achieving our decarbonisation goals.

“While many cities across Scandinavia already utilise highly-efficient energy sources such as CHP plants to power their heating networks, uptake remains fairly low in the UK. We would urge the Government to strongly consider increased support for local CHP systems to help reduce commercial energy costs and carbon emissions.”

He continued: “By generating heat and power simultaneously, CHP can reduce carbon emissions by up to 30 per cent compared to conventional generation. This is particularly beneficial for buildings with high and continuous, year-round heating loads such as hospitals, care homes, and hotels; because of the long running hours, these buildings can achieve the most energy efficient operation. Indeed, a recent report by the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) found that implementing CHP could save the NHS around £26.4m per annum.”

“As the Government has highlighted in its green paper, the UK’s wholesale electricity prices are higher than those of other European countries. By using a CHP system, businesses can produce electricity at gas prices, which is cheaper than buying it directly from the grid as electricity is approximately 8 pence more expensive per kW/h. Also, in comparison to purchasing from the grid, CHP electricity doesn’t suffer losses resulting from moving power over large distances, resulting in a more efficient process.

He added: “At the same time, where the ‘waste’ heat from the generation process is lost at gas power stations, the heat generated by CHP can be reused in the heating/hot water systems. This is especially effective when CHP is designated as the lead heat source.

“As energy prices and efficiency targets continue to be a pain point for many UK businesses, the case for implementing a combined heat and power (CHP) system grows stronger. We look forward to seeing the Government’s recommendations on how to minimise energy costs and hit decarbonisation targets, following the consultation on the ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ green paper, and hope CHP will become a key pillar of its plan to achieve affordable and clean energy for businesses across the UK.”

20 March 2017

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