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The future of CHP in a net-zero world

Robert Ashley, Power Generation Specialist at Mott MacDonald, ascertains that CHP has a future in a net-zero world. In June 2019, the UK Government introduced legislation that required all greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to net-zero by 2050. As the first major economy to do so, this was a step-change in policy that, for the first time, would enact into law the fight against climate change.

While the energy supply sector has made significant reductions to its carbon emissions in recent years, it remains the second-largest contributor after transport, responsible for 21% of all emissions. Needless to say, for the UK to meet its 2050 commitment almost all of the country’s heat and electricity demands will need to be net-zero.

CHP: Where are we?
In 2020, there were over 2,500 combined heat and power (CHP) schemes in the UK, generating 23,461 GWh of electricity and 41,696 GWh of heat. CHP schemes power hospitals, university campuses, large industrial sites and residential developments and are an important part of the UK’s energy infrastructure.

However, more than 70% of all fuel burned by CHP is natural gas. CHP is an efficient conversion device of one form of energy into two, as it takes waste heat and converts it to usable heat. By generating both heat and power at the same time, CHP can reduce carbon emissions as a combination of conventional power generation and a free-standing heat supply.

Read the complete article at Open Access Government 


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