Combined Heat and Power
Combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration referes to a process where power generating station or power plant generates electricity and useful heat at the same time.
The use of carbon-based fuels in traditional electric power stations is inefficient, as these discard the heat by-product they only convert 25-40% of chemicaly stored energy to electric power. In contrast, CHP power stations typically achieve 80%+ fuel-to-energy conversion efficiency.
Cogeneration using biomass (e.g. wood chips) is one of the best means of converting a renewable energy source into heat and power. Biomass, provided it is used in a sustainable way, has the advantage of being carbon neutral, which contributes to curbing CO2 emissions in line with the Kyoto protocol targets. It achieves this because in the growing phase of the plant or tree as it takes CO2 from the atmosphere and puts releases oxygen during photosynthesis. This is the reverse of standard combustion and energy production.