The term ‘climate change’ has become a buzzword spread far and wide over media outlets in recent years.
Current projections estimate that global emissions will reach 50% higher than the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. After the world’s biggest climate conference, COP26 in late October 2021, 151 countries submitted new climate plans (NDCs) to cut emissions by 2030. The UK Government set out the Clean Growth Strategy – ambition to enable businesses and industry to improve energy efficiency by a min of 20% by 2030. Never before has it been more important for businesses and manufacturers to take a closer look at the impact that they are having on climate change.
One way that many are seeking change is by considering combined heat and power systems. So, could they be the answer?
What is CHP?
Also known as cogeneration, combined heating and power (CHP) is a technology designed to improve energy efficiency.
It generates electricity before capturing the thermal byproduct and transforming it into either hot air or water. This can then be used to heat a building or community.
CHP systems reduce waste, require less fuel than traditional means and can be powered by renewable fuels as well as fossil fuels.
Why Could It Benefit Climate Change?
A key movement in the drive towards reducing climate change is switching to more sustainable forms of energy.
Wind power, for example, is the second-largest renewable energy source in the world with solar following shortly after. Being able to capture energy from the environment around us lowers the dependency on fossil fuels and cuts emissions.
However, these energy sources are anything but stable. Wind can blow in different directions.
Sun intensity can fluctuate with cloud coverage or time of day. These fluctuations, although seemingly small, impact the electric grid and raise the potential for power outages.
CHP systems have a high level of resilience. They sit independently from the main grid, allowing sites to produce their own electricity and thermal power.
Essentially, they are what is known as a microgrid – a local energy grid that can disconnect and operate autonomously. Regardless of the impact of fluctuating fuel supplies or severe weather events, microgrids continue to produce power.
This helps organisations to reduce their energy costs, as well as their emissions and provide added security. In fact, by generating both heat and power simultaneously, CHP systems reduce greenhouse emissions by 30% in comparison to conventional set-ups.
Alongside those for the environment, CHP systems also strengthen the infrastructure of local towns and cities.
They can be used in critical organisations, such as hospitals, military establishments or universities – anywhere that has a high energy demand. In the event of a power fluctuation or outage, these organisations can continue to run as normal and provide vital resources to the surrounding area.
Here at Energimizer, we specialise in providing quality information and resources to businesses seeking CHP solutions. For more information, or to learn how your carbon footprint could benefit from cogeneration, get in contact here today.