26 Nov 2009, 8:43 PM
The importance of combined heat and power (CHP) and district heating in helping secure reductions in C02 emissions, across the public sector and wider economy, has been outlined by a cross party group of leading politicians at the Combined Heat and Power (CHPA) Annual Conference. Energy Minister, Lord Hunt, reinforced the importance of CHP to Government.
Lord Hunt said, " The importance of combined heat and power (CHP) and district heating in helping secure reductions in C02 emissions, across the public sector and wider economy, has been outlined by a cross party group of leading politicians at the Combined Heat and Power (CHPA) Annual Conference.
Energy Minister, Lord Hunt, reinforced the importance of CHP to Government: “Combined heat and power is going to have a key role to play in the future of the UK’s energy needs because it is more efficient, it should save money long-term, and it reduces carbon emissions. The UK is showing great leadership in tackling climate change which is crucial as we head to the Copenhagen talks next month. Demonstrating the UK can make the shift to a low carbon future will be vital in striking an ambitious deal.”
Addressing delegates, panelists in the conference policy debate – including Greg Barker MP, Simon Hughes MP and Paddy Tipping MP, amongst others – emphasised the central role the technology has to play. Their calls came a day after Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, announced a Conservative party commitment to reduce C02 emissions by 10% across the public sector if it wins office at the next election.
Conservative Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, explained: “A conservative government would show a new level of ambition to reduce the C02 footprint of the public sector and deliver cuts to a much more urgent timeframe. I am in no doubt that CHP will be a key part of the solution [in delivering these savings].”
In the context of discussion about increasing uptake of CHP at a community level and across the public sector, Liberal Democrat Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister, Simon Hughes, added: “CHP locally ticks all the right boxes. It makes precious energy go further and delivers crucial reductions in C02”.
CHP is playing an ever increasingly role in securing both cost and energy savings for the public sector. The Government’s own plan to link the Department for Climate Change and the Environment Department to the Whitehall district heating scheme is an important illustration of how district heating can shrink the carbon footprint of much of our existing building stock.
Graham Meeks, Director of the CHPA, explained: “In a world where public services will be increasingly squeezed, CHP and district heating provide the scope to drive down costs by delivering long-term energy-efficiency benefits. The Conservatives’ announcement that they will require the government estate to cut emissions by 10% is focusing attention in the right place.”
Increasing vocal support in favour of the technology, from a range of prominent political figures reflects the cross party commitment to making CHP an increasingly important part of efforts to tackle climate change. Although there is much focus today on the public sector, CHP also promises to make a pivotal contribution to decarbonisation across the rest of the economy.
Meeks continued: “CHP and district heating provide an essential platform for the expansion of renewable energy supply and make sure that precious resources go much further. With a global deal at Copenhagen a realistic prospect, CHP can be expected to play a major role in meeting our carbon budgets in years to come.”
“In a world where we have become focused on a target to achieve 15% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020, CHP delivers a credible route to start decarbonising the remaining 85% of our economy which will still be dependent upon fossil fuels. For those parts of the economy that present particular challenges – industry, existing buildings and homes – it will be indispensible.”