Top 10 Reasons States Should Include
CHP in Their Clean Power Plan
Mark Spurr, IDEA Legislative Director
DEPARTMENTS | ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Editor’s Note: “Energy and Environmental
Policy” is a regular column designed
to keep IDEA members up to date on
important legislative and regulatory issues
affecting the district energy industry.
Although I am not a late-night TV show host, I can’t resist the temptation to offer my own top 10
list of reasons states should incorporate
combined heat and power into their plans
for compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rules for reducing
greenhouse gas emissions in existing power plants. The proposed rules, called the
Clean Power Plan, would be implemented
through section 111 (d) of the Clean Air
Act and were described in the last issue of
District Energy. So here you have my top
10 reasons in ascending order:
NOT ALL STATES ARE CREATED
EQUAL WHEN IT COMES TO
Increasing renewable energy use
is one strategy that states may use to
achieve power generation carbon dioxide
reductions. Renewable resources, such
as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal,
vary significantly from state to state.
Figure 1 shows the results of an analysis
of renewable electricity potential on a
state-by-state basis. While the central
part of the country has high total renew-
able potential (mainly wind and biomass),
the southeast has fairly low potential.
CHP can be a useful element in any
state’s Clean Power Plan, and it can play
a particularly important role in states
with low renewable potential. CHP is
relevant even in areas with relatively low
heating requirements and high cooling
requirements. Waste heat can be used to
produce air conditioning using absorption
chillers or steam turbine chillers.
CHP HELPS INDUSTRIES COMPETE IN
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Many energy-intensive industries
must compete in a global market. By
reducing and stabilizing energy costs,
CHP can help U.S. industrial companies
thrive and continue to provide jobs and
tax revenue. The most energy-intensive
industries are chemicals, iron and steel,
nonmetallic minerals, refining and pulp
and power. See figure 2 for relative worldwide shares of industrial energy use by
these industries and all others.
Figure 1. Renewable Energy Potential by State.
Resources included here are bioenergy, landfill gas, solar photovoltaics and wind. Hydropower potentials are not
included. Data not available for Alaska and Hawaii.
Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, Plugging in Renewable Energy – Grading the States, May 2003.
Technical Potential as a Percent
of Total 2001 Electricity Sales