Barriers To Cogeneration
There are several barriers to the large-scale implementation of cogeneration. Although the operating costs of cogeneration facilities are relatively small, the initial costs of equipment and installation are large. Also, multinational oil companies and central utility companies have substantial political influence in many countries. These companies emphasize their own short-term profits over the long-term environmental costs of inefficient use of non-renewable resources. Other barriers to cogeneration are the falsely low costs of fossil fuels, relative to their true, longer-term costs and future scarcity. In a world of plentiful, seemingly inexpensive energy, there is little incentive to use fuel wisely. In addition, national energy policies can have a tremendous effect, like the EC's Thermie policy which does not support cogeneration, and the recent cutbacks in the U. S. energy conservation policies and research, the effects of which remain to be seen.
In the United States, much of the energy research dollar is devoted to developing new energy sources, despite the fact that most of the country's current energy sources are wasted due to inefficient uses. In fact, energy efficiency has not increased much since 1985. As the world's largest user and waster of energy, the United States has a substantial impact on many forms of worldwide pollution, and therefore has a special responsibility to use its resources efficiently.