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CHP is a very efficient technology for generating electricity and heat together.
A CHP plant is an installation where there is simultaneous generation of usable heat and power (usually electricity) in a single process. The term CHP is synonymous with 'cogeneration' and 'total energy', which are terms often used in the United States or other Member States of the European Community. The basic elements of a CHP plant comprise one or more prime movers usually driving electrical generators, where the heat generated in the process is utilised via suitable heat recovery equipment for a variety of purposes including: industrial processes, community heating and space heating.
CHP can provide a secure and highly efficient method of generating electricity and heat at the point of use. Due to the utilisation of heat from electricity generation and the avoidance of transmission losses because electricity is generated on site, CHP typically achieves a 35 per cent reduction in primary energy usage compared with power stations and heat only boilers. This can allow the host organisation to make economic savings where there is a suitable balance between the heat and power loads. The current mix of CHP installations achieves a reduction of over 30 per cent in CO2 emissions in comparison with generation from coal-fired power stations, and over 10 per cent in comparison with gas fired combined cycle gas turbines. The newest installations achieve a reduction of over 50 per cent compared with generation from coal-fired power stations.