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Insights from the State of the Market for CHP in the U.S. Panel at the CHP Alliance 2020 Summit

By Monica Pistorius, Sales and Marketing Development Program, Siemens Energy, Inc.

At the CHP Alliance’s 2020 Summit, Siemens Energy sponsored a panel on the current combined heat and power (CHP) market. Bill Castor from Siemens Energy facilitated the panel.  Bruce Hedman from Entroy Research, LLC, Bob Gemmer from the U.S. Department of Energy, and Mike Larson from DTE Energy Services paneled the discussion on the continual need for CHP.

This panel sought to explore the unique opportunities surrounding the adoption of CHP in the United States. The speakers considered various market drivers including resiliency, sustainability, and operational flexibility. The discussion focused on growing activity in smaller non-traditional CHP markets, such as commercial, multi-family, and military applications. Likewise, there is an increased interest in hybrid systems that integrate CHP with renewables and energy storage. Optimizing CHP, solar, and storage can provide long-term, on-site energy for sites with high resilience needs and low emissions impact. The discussion focused on the current trends and the future of CHP within a decarbonized electrical grid.

During the panel, we heard from Bruce Hedman with Entroy Research, LLC about long-term energy solutions through CHP. As expressed, the current political direction is focused on an economy-wide electrification of the grid to achieve net zero carbon emissions. Bruce described how CHP technologies currently use renewable fuels, low carbon waste fuels, and hydrogen mixtures where available, and will be ready to use higher levels of renewable natural gas and hydrogen in the future. Bruce highlighted how CHP supports the integration of renewables while enhancing energy resilience and security. He continued by describing how the continual development of CHP enhances efficiency and allows existing and future assets to compete in a deep decarbonized economy.

Mike Larson from DTE Energy discussed where the CHP market is now, and trends that have occurred within recent years. DTE is still seeing many inquiries from historical drivers such as aging equipment and fuel switching, although lately there has been a shift towards smaller nontraditional requests. Throughout the panel we heard about new customers from many different industries such as airports, large corporations’ commercial space, universities, and healthcare facilities. CHP allows for a customizable onsite generation that monetizes the value of resilience and grid support.

Bob Gemmer from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) wrapped up the panel with an objective overview of the CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships (TAPs) program that collaborates with end users and suppliers. Bob highlighted the data collected from the TAPs program where the results of CHP implementation and education resulted in a 30% reduction in emissions and financial savings in the millions. The DOE has done extensive research on CHP systems and recognizes the role these systems play in the nations critical energy infrastructure. CHP provides greater energy security and reliability along with its ability to fit individuals needs through varying sizes, fuel flexibility, and resilience as seen during and after natural disasters.

Based on our discussion, it is clear that CHP provides resilience, sustainability, and operation flexibility. Due to increased incidences of grid outages and instability, higher reliability and power quality are needed to meet critical infrastructure requirements. CHP supports the addition of renewable energy sources that optimize CHP operations while future proofing these assets as the United States decarbonizes their grid.

For more information about Siemens Energy, visit us online on Twitter, LinkedIn, or on our website. For specific details on CHP solutions in the USA, please contact our sales experts, Bill Castor at Bill.castor@siemens-energy.com or Olamide Ogunduyile at olamide.ogunduyile@siemens-energy.com.

Want to learn more about the CHP Alliance’s 2020 Summit? You can read our wrap-up blog posts of day 1, day 2, and day 3 of the Summit. Interested in watching the recordings of the panels and keynote presentations? You can register for the event and gain access to the Attendee Portal, including the recordings. Contact Nicolette Santos at nicolette@dgardiner.com for more information.

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