US President Barack Obama yesterday signed an executive order to help investment in industrial energy efficiency, including combined heat and power systems (CHP), across US businesses.
The order also sets out a new national objective of 40 gigawatts of new combined heat and power capacity by 2020, a 50% increase over the current level.
CHP uses natural gas to create steam and electricity for industrial facilities. It is claimed CHP can produce energy twice as efficiently as older coal-burning electric plants, especially because it can be generated close to where it is needed, so losing little in transmission.
The Obama administration said the new these measures would save manufacturers as much as US$100 billion (£63bn) in energy costs over the next decade, while reducing energy consumption by the equivalent of 25 million cars and harmful emissions.
Businesses said the plans would make the States more competitive.
The American Chemistry Council said: “Expansion of CHP capacity can make American manufacturers more competitive in the global economy and can stretch our nation’s natural gas supplies that benefit a wide variety of industries across the country.”