Obama's executive order: pushing for more industrial energy efficiency, CHP deployment

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By: SGN Staff

President Obama on Thursday signed an executive order outlining the administration's intent to promote and facilitate investments in industrial energy efficiency. The order also underscored the administration's support for combined heat and power (CHP) and noted that investments in CHP technology as well as industrial energy efficiency overall can save manufacturers as much as tens of billions of dollars over the next decade and strengthen the manufacturing industry, create jobs,  and reduce energy consumption and air pollution.

CHP now provides about 12% of U.S. energy capacity, or in other words, 82 gigawatts, according to the U.S. Clean Heat & Power Association (USCHPA). The executive order also announced a national CHP deployment goal of an additional 40 gigawatts by 2020.

Coincidentally, Smart Grid News had reported on the status of CHP and its resurgence Wednesday. The story noted that the technology – which involves using waste heat, a byproduct of generating electricity, for heating and cooling – has become increasingly popular across a variety of manufacturing and other industries and businesses as a way to keep energy costs down and maintain competitiveness.

The USCHPA, in response to the order, said accelerated investments in improving U.S. manufacturing competitiveness could save as much as $100 billion in energy costs over the next decade. Jessica Bridges, the organization's executive director, said "CHP technology can be deployed quickly, cost effectively and with few geographic restrictions. Establishing this national goal toward greater CHP deployment will significantly advance cleaner energy generation in the U.S., benefit the environment and help create much needed manufacturing and industrial jobs."