Power plants generally generate electricity by burning fossil fuels. Plants that generate not only electricity but also heat (e.g. district heating) at the same time work according to the principle of combined heat and power generation and are also referred to as combined heat and power plants.
The heat is extracted as hot steam from the turbine. It is then transferred via heat exchangers to a distribution system that delivers the heat to private households (heating) and industrial plants (process heat). The simultaneous generation of electricity and heat makes better use of the primary energy used by the fuel and thus significantly increases the efficiency of CHP plants. In addition, pollutant emissions are reduced because the central district heating supply from the combined heat and power plant replaces a large number of decentralised individual furnaces.
EnBW operates most of its conventional plants with environmentally friendly co-generation of heat and power.