Cogeneration, On-Site Power

EIA: More than 90 percent of onsite industrial generation concentrated in five industries

Around 3 percent of current U.S. generating capacity is created by onsite industrial generation, with more than 90 percent of onsite industrial generation supporting five industries, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Of the five industries, the petroleum and coal, paper and chemicals industries account for more than 90 percent of onsite industrial generation. The primary metals and food industries represent the remaining 20 percent, according to the administration.

The concentration of cogeneration facilities in certain industries is a result of the economic feasibility of usage in the industries, according to the EIA.

Combined heat and power (CHP) facilities tend to be built in conjunction with certain industries that have heat or steam demands that directly affect their economic potential and profitability,” the EIA stated in a report. “Continuous operations with fairly constant heat or steam demands, coupled with meeting partial electricity demands, bolster the technical potential and likelihood of adoption of an industrial CHP, or cogeneration, facility and also may result in greater use of these facilities.”

According to the EIA, there is significant technical potential for more industrial cogeneration, which offers potential energy savings and cost reductions compared to the separate production of electricity and heat, but “the number of manufacturing facilities with and without active cogeneration suggest that CHP still faces significant challenges.”

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