The Combined Heat and Power Alliance: A Year in Review — 2021

Jan 28, 2022


By Tom Smith, President, and David Gardiner, Executive Director

As we begin 2022, the CHP Alliance is pleased to share a recap of our achievements over the last 12 months, which have established a strong foundation for even more progress this year and our continued effort to promote a future where CHP serves as a reliable and cost-effective climate change solution for the industrial and commercial sectors.

We garnered successes on national and state policies to incentivize CHP. At the federal level, the House passed a 10-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit for CHP and WHP. As part of the Build Back Better Act, this is stalled in the Senate, and getting this through the Senate is our top priority for 2022. The Alliance expanded upon last year’s campaign to support the funding for the DOE CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships programs, helping organize over 20 companies to engage 14 key policymakers across a dozen states. We met virtually this year with over a dozen members of Congress and legislative staff—particularly members of the House Ways and Means Committee—to educate policymakers on the basics of CHP, its benefits, and its potential in their states. On the state and regional level, we engaged with over 14 states across every region of the U.S., from creating stakeholder groups in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania focused on CHP’s inclusion in state clean energy standards and climate plans, to collaborating with our friends at the California Clean Distributed Generation Coalition, the Midwest Cogeneration Association, and the Northeast Clean Heat and Power Initiative in their respective regions of the U.S.

Given the focus of the Biden Administration and many in Congress on clean hydrogen, we supported DOE Secretary Granholm’s initiative to reduce the price of clean hydrogen by 5 times by 2030. We also created a new Hydrogen Working Group to help us map a strategy for expanding the use of CHP and clean hydrogen. We expect this work to be a big focus in 2022.

Despite another tumultuous year in a pandemic, the industry showed tremendous resilience and the Alliance continued to expand its reach and broaden its base. We increased our membership by roughly 40% from 2020–over 70 General and Reciprocal Affiliate Members—and saw membership growth not only in the CHP developer and manufacturing sectors, but also through distribution partners, utilities, financial firms, and nonprofit organizations.

This past September, we held our second annual National Summit on CHP—themed CHP in a Sustainable Future: Clean, Reliable Energy for Resilient Communities—where over 220 attendees from 24 states and five foreign countries convened virtually across three days. With over 45 speakers, 27 event sponsors, and 24 promotional partners, the Alliance brought together a diverse network of individuals committed to promoting CHP and its benefits. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL) received CHP Champion Awards for their continued support of CHP policies at the federal level. Richard Sweetser (Exergy Partners), Roberto Acosta (Accurate Solutions), Kevin O’Connell (Michigan CAT), and Cliff Haefke (ERC-UIC) also received CHP Champion Awards for their dedication to the industry over the years.  We are making plans to have this conference in-person in October of this year and hope the pandemic will permit us to do so.

To make the case for CHP in America’s decarbonized electric and gas future, we finished 2021 strong by holding a webinar on November 17 releasing our second white paper, titled “CHP and the Clean Energy Future: How CHP Fits into a Modern Electric Grid and a Green Gas System.” The paper focuses on how CHP will work with these systems now and into the future to provide reliable electric and thermal energy while lowering emissions and saving money. We would like to give special thanks to the sponsors of the report: Caterpillar Inc., Martin Energy Group, Northeast-Western Energy Systems, Siemens Energy Inc., INNIO Jenbacher, and AB Energy.

Lastly, the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape showed everyone the importance of conducting business as usual in an online setting, and the Alliance did just that. We increased our reach online through persistent social media campaigns on Twitter and LinkedIn, educational webinars, sector-specific factsheet series, and numerous blog post series.

Looking ahead, we will continue to grow our member base, promote the benefits of CHP through our diverse networks and online platforms—with plans in motion to hold an in-person National CHP conference this year—foster deeper connections with those interested in and working on clean hydrogen as well as regional industry coalitions and other environmental groups, and advocate for pro-CHP policies at both the federal and state levels.

Thank you for your continued support of the CHP Alliance and here’s to an even more prosperous 2022!