A report released today from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) finds that, unfortunately, most states lack the policies and regulations necessary to help businesses move forward on CHP projects. If we are ever to meet President Obama’s goal of bringing 40 GW of new CHP online by 2020, states have a lot of work to do.
For those who are unfamiliar with how CHP works, think of it like a mini power plant (“mini” is a relative term, as these facilities can generate hundreds of MW of power) located onsite at industries and institutions that provide electricity and recapture waste heat from power production for use in a variety of ways – from fueling industrial processes to heating interior spaces or water used in buildings. Having onsite CHP greatly reduces the amount of electricity that businesses and institutions have to buy from utilities. Plus, companies that own and operate their own power supply are less likely to be exposed to power outages and volatility in energy markets.
This year’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard -- ACEEE’s annual ranking of the states on their progress toward advancing energy efficiency -- found only four states that scored more than half of the points available from CHP policies and regulations.
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Next page: Which states are leading the charge -- and how this affects business