Low gas prices, state incentives, environmental regulations and the retirement of old power plants helps fuel rising investment in combined heat and power (CHP) installations in the US, according to a Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.
Duane Tilden‘s insight:
Obama’s CHP initiative
The 40GW CHP expansion goal is based on a 2012 Executive Order from Obama which encourages the Departments of Energy, Commerce, and Agriculture, and the EPA […] to coordinate policies in order to encourage investment in industrial efficiency measures such as CHP.
The installation of a further 40MW of capacity would save about 1 quadrillion Btu of energy annually, eliminate over 150 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and save energy users some $10 billion a year.
Shale gas revolution helps spur CHP growth
Currently about 8 percent of US power generation capacity and 12 percent of MWh generated annually comes from CHP, according to the DOE report, while 87 percent of CHP installations support manufacturing plants.
The recent US shale gas revolution has helped spur renewed interest in the sector, after investment in new CHPs slowed down between 2004 and 2005, mainly due to volatile gas prices and an uncertain economic outlook.
TD Bank’s net-zero energy store opened on May 13, 2011. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory defines a net-zero energy building (NZEB) as a residential or commercial building that produces and exports in a year at least as much renewable power as the total energy it uses.
[…] A NZEB has two key energy features: The building is constructed with energy-efficient technologies that significantly reduce its energy demand, and renewable energy sources supply at least as much energy as the building uses over the course of a year.
The DOE inspector general said in a report that funds from $700 million smart-grid technology program have been mismanaged.
Duane Tilden‘s insight:
There are 32 projects made possible from the 2009 grant, 11 of which were reported on by Friedman.
“Our review of 11 projects, awarded $279 million in Recovery Act funding and $10 million in non-Recovery Act funding, identified weaknesses in reimbursement requests, cost-share contributions, and coordination efforts with another Department program,” Friedman said in the report to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
Some additional issues found by Friedman included overpayments and failures in the procedures for vetting recipient cost-share contributions