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Energy conservation and electricity utilities: a comparative analysis of organizational obstacles to CHP/DH

Rudig, Wolfgang (1986) Energy conservation and electricity utilities: a comparative analysis of organizational obstacles to CHP/DH. Energy Policy, 14. pp. 104-116. ISSN 0301-4215

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The author attempts an explanation of the vast differences between the countries of Western Europe in the adoption of combined heat and power (CHP) for district heating (DH). The history of this technology in FR Germany and the UK is analysed in detail, and experiences of other countries are reviewed. The author concludes that the overcentralization of the electricity supply industry is a major obstacle in the widespread adoption of combined heat and power and district heating. Significant improvements of energy efficiency would thus require organizational reforms giving greater powers to local energy organizations. This, however, should not imply total decentralization of energy supply. Instead, a two-tier system is proposed in which central organizations remain responsible for bulk supply but where local or regional bodies are in charge of all gas, electricity and heat supplies to the final user.