The heat that is released into the environment by power stations can be classified as a form of pollution in the sense that it is a man-made waste which is being disposed of by this release. Generally its release is benign and this source of pollution is often ignored. However there are situations -such as using river water for power station cooling - where heat output can change the local environmental conditions significantly. This may be considered damaging.

A CHP plant reduces the immediate release of the waste heat from a power station and this must be considered an environmental benefit. Of course the heat will probably reach the environment eventually but when it does, it will do so in place of heat which would have been generated elsewhere. There is therefore a net reduction in the emission of heat.

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