There’s nothing flashy about cogeneration, and in a hashtag environment, the term is rarely trending.
But what cogeneration lacks in headline-grabbing cache, this emission-reducing technology makes up for by producing concrete results in reducing, reusing and recycling energy.
In fact, since 2000, one quarter of what ExxonMobil has invested to cut emission supports cogeneration projects, according to the company’s latest Corporate Citizenship Report, which also highlights its environmental, social and philanthropic initiatives.
In that time, ExxonMobil has spent $8 billion in its effort to reduce emissions, with $2 billion going toward cogeneration, which allows the company to self-generate more than half its total electricity needs.
The company’s cogeneration investments enable the avoidance of 6 million metric tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions.
Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power, is the process of capturing heat generated from the production of electricity at heavy industrial facilities, like refining and chemical plants. That heat is then used to fuel other operations, such as boilers for the company’s manufacturing processes.
Describing it as an underutilized energy resource, the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency have set a goal to increase cogeneration capacity by 40 gigawatts by 2020, which would save energy users $10 billion a year and reduce emissions by 150 million metric tons of CO2 annually.
This year, ExxonMobil is constructing a new 84-megawatt cogeneration expansion at its Singapore refinery’s Jurong site, the latest addition to the company’s vast portfolio in that technology.
Like most things with cogeneration, explaining the science behind it and the benefits of using it go well beyond 140 characters, so we’ve compiled some data showing how it has helped us power its manufacturing plants in Singapore and beyond.
U.S. Department of Energy, CHP: A Clean Energy Solution, August 2012