Benefits of Recycled Energy

...for owners:

  • Improved fuel efficiency - up to 2/3 savings in fuel costs
  • Improved power quality & reliability
  • Improved energy cost predictability
  • Business continuity
  • Energy security

...for society:

  • Reduced emissions per unit of useful output - up to 33%-50% reduced emissions
  • No ratepayer investment required in generating, transmitting or distributing power
  • Reduced land-use impacts and NIMBY objectives
  • Reduced fresh water use
  • Optimized natural gas and reduced price volatility - up to 40% greater efficiency than conventional units
  • Creation of new high-tech manufacturing sector in domestic and export markets
  • Support of competitive electricity market structure

...for electric utilities:

  • Reduced energy losses in transmission lines - current transmission losses are about 10%. Clean energy requires no remote transmission and therefore sustains no transmission losses.
  • Reduced upstream congestion on transmission lines
  • Reduced or deferred infrastructure (line and substation) upgrades
  • Optimal use of existing grid assets, including the potential to free up transmission assets for increased wheeling capacity
  • Less capital tied up in unproductive asset
  • Improved grid reliability
  • Higher energy conversion efficiencies than central generation
  • Faster permitting than transmission line upgrades
  • Ancillary benefits including voltage support & stability, contingency reserves and black start capability

 

Barriers to Recycled Energy

(See our Policies & Incentives page for in-depth discussions of policy issues currently confronting clean energy adoption in the Midwest region, and see the Oak Ridge and DOE reports highlighted above for a national discussion.)

  • Inconsistent interconnection requirements between states and even between utilities
  • Potential interconnection delays
  • Standby and back-up power charges from the utility that can adversely affect project economics
  • Air regulations that do not recognize the environmental benefits of CHP]
  • Non-standardized, time-consuming environmental permitting process
  • Complex local ordinances regarding siting, zoning, fire code, etc...
  • Volatile natural gas prices and "spark spread"
  • Facility managers unaware of the benefits of on-site power generation
  • On-site generation systems' lack of a specific tax depreciation category -- CHP systems can qualify for one of several categories depending on configuration and ownership resulting in a depreciation period ranging from 5 to 39 years
  • Utilities' lack of standard data, models, or analysis tools for evaluating DG, or standard practices for incorporating DG into electric system planning and operation