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Combined Heat and Power (CHP) production offers significant benefits in terms of energy efficiency and CO2 abatement and is generally considered to be a key technology in the move towards sustainable energy in Ireland. As a distributed generation technology it immediately benefits from reduced transmission and distribution losses, and as a combined generator its total plant efficiency indicates a significant decrease in fuel costs and a reduction in harmful emissions. The corresponding positive effect on energy security through reduced consumption is notable also. It therefore holds a significant place in the country’s future energy strategy. The present work offers a brief detail of the principles of CHP generation and the advantages, disadvantages and barriers to the implementation of the technology. Current government incentives in Ireland are examined and their success described. The importance of the energy balance and the economic value of the different energy types produced by the CHP unit are detailed. Reference is made to ongoing work in the Dublin Institute of Technology aimed at altering the balance of the energy outputs of a typical CHP unit in favour of electrical power.
Cullen, Barry and McGovern, Jim: Combined heat and power in the Irish market. Poster relating to ongoing doctoral research.