Combined heat and power (CHP), or cogeneration, is advocated for a dozen states heavily dependent on coal-fired power generation as a way to ease off of coal and address global climate change. CHP often relies on natural gas as its fuel source, although biomass, biogas and other fossil fuels also can be used. A report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy predicts that in the next two decades there will be “substantial changes” in the way electricity is produced, and CHP is one of the tools for making the transition smoother and less carbon-intensive. “Energy efficiency, and CHP, in particular, represent significant near-term opportunities to make highly cost-effective investments in new energy resources,” said Anna Chittum, author of the report, “Coal Retirements and the CHP Investment Opportunity.” The report urges states to encourage their utilities to invest more in CHP as a means of meeting future demand.

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