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CHP still sidelined despite 'Royal approval'

Combined heat and power (CHP) is being used at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, but a managing director of a CHP specialist has been left wondering why there is still a lack of support for the technology in the UK.

Alan Barlow, from Ener-G Combined Power, spoke out this week about CHP being “sidelined” despite the potential benefits of generating electricity and useful heat at the same time.

ENER-G claims over the past 12 years period the Royal family has generated more than 13 million KWh of electricity thanks to installing CHP at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
This - it suggests - is enough to make 130 million cups of tea – more than two cups each for every man, woman and child in the United Kingdom.
Although the Government has set targets for rapidly expanding CHP little progress has been made and the level of capacity in the UK is the fourth lowest in Europe.

He said: “CHP reduces greenhouse emissions drastically by capturing the heat output that is wasted in conventional power generation.

“But unlike renewable technologies such as wind it doesn’t benefit from large subsidies and suffers from ‘Cinderella syndrome’ in which its value goes largely unrecognised.

“We need renewable generation, but in our race to meet targets we must not forget about those important technologies that help consumers cut their carbon output.

“CHP electricity is around one third of the price charged by conventional UK suppliers and cuts carbon by around 20 per cent yet out of all the members of the European Union the UK’s current CHP capacity is the fourth lowest.”

The Government's target is to reach a CHP capacity for the UK of 10,000 MW by 2010.  Latest official statistics show that every 1 MW of CHP operating in the UK helps reduce carbon emissions by between 510 and 760 tonnes every year.

Mr Barlow said: “New power generating capacity which is not developed as a CHP plant represents a potential missed opportunity for carbon savings and energy conservation.

“Much is being made of the spiralling energy costs and lack of control, and yet CHP is often overlooked as the answer to these problems.” 

ENER-G’s CHP systems are already used by the British Royal family to power both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

ENER-G says that over a 12 year period the Royal family has generated more than 13 million KWh of electricity. They have also cut carbon emissions by more than 3,000 tonnes.