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Combined Heat And Power

Volume 205: debated on Monday 16 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what have been his Department's achievements in the development of combined heat and power since 1979; and what plans he has to further advance the development of combined heat and power in the next five years.

The main achievements of my Department in the development of CHP since 1979, mainly through the programmes of the Energy Efficiency Office and in conjunction with industry and other Government Departments, have been:

The 'Lead City' programme to evaluate the potential for large scale CHP/Community Heating (CHP/CH). This stimulated widespread interest in the potential for CHP/CH which is culminating in schemes such as that recently announced by Citigen.
To develop and demonstrate the use of small-scale packaged CHP for buildings, leading to an unprecedented rise in the installation of such units.
The development and encouragement of the use of cost effective CHP applications in industry based on the use of modern gas turbines.
The environmental benefits of CHP have been assessed and the potential of the technology to reduce environmentally harmful emissions is now widely acknowledged.
The privatisation of both the electricity and gas industries has led to the creation of new competitive markets. CHP operators can obtain gas on a non-discriminatory basis and they have a market into which they can sell surplus electricity. The majority of genuine on-site CHP operators generating for own use are free to continue to do so without the need for a licence and, therefore, do not have to pay the fossil fuel levy. This has provided a commercial environment which is stimulating interest in CHP not only from the privatised companies but from energy users in all sectors of the economy. The Pooling and Settlement Agreement now enables companies generating their own electricity to sell only surplus power to the pool, instead of having to sell all they generate and buy back their own requirements.
Measures have also been provided, where appropriate, to assist the development of CHP. Under the 1989 Electricity Act CHP operators as licensed generators may have powers to break streets to lay heat and power mains. There are special provisions for the treatment of CHP in the Department of Environment's Integrated Pollution Control regulations. Equitable treatment for CHP/CH schemes in the Department of Environment's rating formulae has been secured.
The Department has produced a wide range of publications and two videos highlighting successful applications of CHP technology. The Department has also successfully collaborated with industry on the promotion and marketing of CHP, particularly with the CHPA on their Power Plus campaign. These activities have helped to raise the profile and awareness of CHP in industry, commerce and the public sector to a record level.
Throughout the remainder of the 1990s the EEO will continue to vigorously promote the technology through its best practice programme and will aim to achieve the environment White Paper commitment to double CHP capacity to 4,000MWe by 2000.