There are several reasons why cogeneration is a beneficial technology. Cogeneration is an excellent method of improving energy efficiency, which has positive environmental and economic results. It also buys time to find new energy sources, and is a reliable, well-understood process.
The most important environmental reason to cogenerate is that vast amounts of precious, non-renewable resources are being wasted by inefficient uses. For example, in the United States, only 16% of the energy used for industrial processes creates useful energy or products. About 41% of the waste is unavoidable because some energy is always lost whenever energy is transformed. However, 43% of the wasted energy could potentially be used in a more energy-efficient process. Cogeneration is an excellent way to increase energy efficiency, which reduces both environmental impacts and operating costs.
Another benefit of cogeneration is that it is an offthe-shelf technology. It has been used in some forms for over a century and therefore most technical problems have been solved. Because cogeneration is a reliable, proven technology, there are fewer installation and operating problems compared with new, untested technology.