Distributed Generation: Combined Heat and Power

Authored by: Barney L. Capehart , D. Paul Mehta , Wayne C. Turner

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Distributed generation (DG) is electric or shaft power generation at or near the site of use as opposed to central power station generation. Combined heat and power (CHP) takes advantage of this site location to recover the normally wasted thermal energy from power generation and utilizes it beneficially to increase the total system efficiency. This entry explores the rapidly developing world of DG and associated CHP. First the entry shows why DG is necessary in the U.S. power future and that DG is going to happen. Then, the entry briefly looks at the different technologies that might be employed and their relative advantages and disadvantages. The entry then explores who should be the major designers and implementers of DG and CHP technologies, and develops a strong argument that in many cases this should be an Energy Service Company (ESCO). Finally, the reasons for selecting either an independent ESCO or a local utility-affiliated ESCO are discussed, and in particular, opportunities for the local utility ESCO (the local grid) to be a major moving force in this effort are examined in depth.

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