co·​gen·​e·​ra·​tion | \ ˌkō-ˌje-nə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce cogeneration (audio) \

Definition of cogeneration

: the production of electricity using waste heat (as in steam) from an industrial process or the use of steam from electric power generation as a source of heat

Other Words from cogeneration

cogenerator \ ˌkō-​ˈje-​nə-​ˌrā-​tər How to pronounce cogeneration (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

Cogeneration is basically the production of energy and usable heat (generally in the form of steam and hot water) in the same plant, usually by capturing heat that in older plants used to be simply wasted. It's one of the principal ways in which countries intend to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions so as to slow climate change. Cogeneration plants are often small, and the fuels used in them are varied. Lumber mills, for instance, can operate their own cogeneration plants, feeding them with wood scraps and sawdust, and wastewater treatment plants generate gas that can likewise be used as a source of energy. Since it's hard to move heat long distances, cogeneration is most efficient when the heat can be used nearby. Though the general public today knows little about cogeneration, more and more of us will be benefiting from it in the coming years.

Examples of cogeneration in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The expansion will construct energy cogeneration units, which the company says will reduce emissions by more than 60 percent at the facility. William Thornton |, al, 23 Dec. 2019 The good news was that the university runs its own cogeneration plant, or cogen, which could provide some of the campus’ buildings with power in the event of an outage. Wired, 15 Oct. 2019 The company, which employs 600 people in Houston, provides clean electricity generation, cogeneration and energy storage, retail energy and other services in the U.S. and Canada. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, 15 Aug. 2019 Two amendments over a 14-month process added visiting-team locker rooms, increased the pool size to Olympic stature at 50 meters by 25 yards, and added a cogeneration plant, which provides cooling and heating through the recycling of wasted heat. Andrew J. Campa, Glendale News-Press, 9 Aug. 2019 Other big capital projects in the works include upgrades the Pasadena terminal, St. Charles alkylation unit, and Pembroke cogeneration unit to be complete in 2020. Houston Chronicle, 25 July 2019 At the heart of the multibuilding complex is a cogeneration plant that recovers wasted heat to make the buildings 70 percent more energy efficient. Megan Mcintyre, Hana Hong, Marie Claire, 18 Apr. 2019 DeFeo said the Temple sewage should be going to a facility equipped with biogas cogeneration, an anaerobic process in which methane in sewage is made into fuel, making the initiative sustainable. Annabelle Williams,, 27 June 2018 But Temple’s sewage waste (including the liquid by-product from digesters) heads to Philadelphia’s Southeast Sewage Plant, which the city Water Department confirms is not equipped with biogas cogeneration. Annabelle Williams,, 27 June 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cogeneration.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of cogeneration

1976, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About cogeneration

Time Traveler for cogeneration

Time Traveler

The first known use of cogeneration was in 1976

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near cogeneration




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cogeneration

Cite this Entry

“Cogeneration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on cogeneration Encyclopedia article about cogeneration


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!