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updated: 4/25/2013 6:31 AM

Illinois company: Cogeneration could become market for gas producers

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Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Combined heat and power systems that produce electricity are a great potential market for natural gas producers, but experts say outdated federal policies and regulations are hindering growth.

Coal-fired power plants generate power and heat, but the heat is wasted. CHP, or cogeneration, captures and reuses the heat.

Illinois-based Recycled Energy Development sells CHP systems, but vice president Dick Munson says it needs more markets and a regulatory system that rewards entrepreneurialism.

At a conference in Morgantown, Munson said policymakers should set energy-efficiency goals, but not technologies to meet them. The market should determine that.

Munson says only allow utility companies can string power lines over public roads. That hurts competitors.

He says the current regulatory system is built on monopolies and red tape, and that ensures it remains inefficient.

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