Environmental impacts of cogeneration
Application of cogeneration may have both positive and negative effects on depletion of non-renewable energy resources, on the environment, and on the society. Environmental effects, in particular, can be distinguished in effects on air, water, and soil quality, as well as on noise and vibration. Since cogeneration increases the efficiency of fuel utilization, it can lead to decreased emission of pollutants to the environment. Furthermore, since the whole fuel cycle includes steps such as exploration, extraction, refining, processing, transportation, and storage, not only the direct emissions from the use (burning) of fuel, but also the emissions of the whole fuel cycle can be decreased. However, depending on the cogeneration technology and the fuel used, it is possible that certain emissions may increase with cogeneration.