Opportunities to Expand Cogeneration in Minnesota

Cogeneration is defined as the sequential production of both electrical or mechanical energy and useful thermal energy from a single energy source. Typically, only about one third of the energy in the fuel burned by an electric generating facility is converted into electricity. The rest is rejected as waste heat. Cogeneration uses some of this heat, increasing the overall efficiency of fuel use to as much as 80% or more. Cogeneration offers substantial benefits to energy users in the form of reduced energy costs, and to the community at large in the form of:

  • more efficient use of energy resources,
  • lower overall emissions from combustion of fuels,
  • reduced thermal pollution of lakes and rivers and
  • smaller, distributed additions to the electric generating capacity in the region.

The objective of this project is to assist with the development of policies which encourage cogeneration by providing background information on cogeneration to Minnesota policy makers.

Full report (PDF)
Opportunities to Expand Cogeneration in Minnesota