BOULDER, Colo. — The market for combined heat and power (CHP) systems in commercial buildings is forecast to grow from $2.2 billion in 2012 to $11.2 billion in 2022, according to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice.

Current installations of CHP systems in commercial buildings are mostly confined to developed markets in the United States, Europe, South Korea, and Japan, noted Pike Research. The market has been limited, until recently, by high upfront capital costs. Today, though, a growing number of commercial users — from hospitals to schools to business parks — are installing CHP systems as a means of reducing operating expenses, improving power reliability, and reducing carbon emissions, the firm stated.

“Falling natural gas prices in the United States and expanding policy incentives across Asia Pacific and Europe are driving an increase in commercial CHP installations,” said senior research analyst Mackinnon Lawrence. “While applications to date have been limited to large facilities, such as hospitals and universities, with near 24/7 thermal and electrical loads, improved economics around smaller installations and advances in prime mover technologies are opening up opportunities across previously untapped segments, including smaller retail, sports clubs, and airports.”

Europe is currently the leading market for commercial CHP installations, with North America a close second, Pike Research said. Over the next decade, though, according to the report, Asia Pacific will be the hottest market for CHP in commercial buildings, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 20 percent. Growth rates in Africa and the Middle East will also be high, but these markets will be dwarfed by those in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific.

Publication date: 8/27/2012