07/28/2008 12:33 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Energy And Power: Cogeneration, Hybrid Cars And Power Plants

Cogeneration -- also known as combined heat and power, distributed generation, or recycled energy -- is the simultaneous production of two or more forms of energy from a single fuel source. Cogeneration power plants often operate at 50 to 70 percent higher efficiency rates than single-generation facilities.

In practical terms, what cogeneration usually entails is the use of what would otherwise be wasted heat (such as a manufacturing plant's exhaust) to produce additional energy benefit, such as to provide heat or electricity for the building in which it is operating. Cogeneration is great for the bottom line and also for the environment, as recycling the waste heat saves other pollutant-spewing fossil fuels from being burned.

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