Narrator: This is Science Today. The U.S. Department of Energy has teamed up with three California universities to promote higher efficiency in power generation without causing more environmental damage. Daniel Kammen, a professor in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, says that promoting the capture and use of waste heat could double power plant efficiency.
Kammen: Combined Heat and Power, or CHP, is the fact that most power plants produce electricity, but they also produce heat, which is generally waste heat. It's vented to the environment; all that heat is a large source of energy we're not using.
Narrator:Kammen says that the combination of fossil fuels and the capturing of waste heat could increase efficiency from 30% to 80%. He adds that this technique can be adopted by single family homes and businesses with small generators.
Kammen: So we would like to talk more about how homes can generate their own electricity and capture that heat; and whether they use it in their own home or sort of export it to a neighboring business. Those are parts of this whole Combined Heat and Power mandate.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.