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Abstract

This article examines the concept of cogeneration, a term for the simultaneous production of both electricity and other useful energy in a single facility by a cascading use of heat energy. It analyzes the rise of cogeneration through the lens of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 ("PURPA"), enacted by Congress to improve the distribution of electric energy and encourage the conservation of resources, as well as the efforts of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") to encourage cogeneration. This article discusses a number of the issues raised and left unresolved by this federal policy of encouraging the development of cogeneration energy sources. It describes the attraction of cogeneration in an era of rising energy costs, and then goes on to discuss the legislative and administrative responses to the prospect of expanded cogeneration. Finally, it explores the impact of cogeneration on utilities, as well as the efects of the policy on regulatory control of utilities.

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