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What is Combined Heat & Power (CHP)?

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Combined heat and power (CHP) is the production of electricity and useful heat in a single process. In CHP plants the heat produced during the generation of electricity can be put to good use, rather than being wasted.

Centralised power generation in the UK has an average delivered efficiency of only around 40%; in other words, far less than half is supplied as electricity to the point of use. The remainder of the energy in the fuel is dissipated as heat via power station cooling towers and from the electricity transmission and distribution systems. Modern combined cycle gas turbine stations only achieve a delivered efficiency of about 45-50%.

By contrast, CHP plant generates useful energy, at the point of use, in the form of both electricity and heat, with an overall efficiency of typically up to 80%.

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