We generate electricity most efficiently when we capture and reuse thermal energy and carbon dioxide in the process. Cogeneration facilities provide high voltage electricity and thermal energy. Trigeneration facilities provide high voltage electricity, heating and cooling, and hot potable water. Quadgeneration performs the same functions but also captures CO2 in the process for industrial reuse or sequestration. Increasingly smaller generation alternatives are becoming available, but they can pose issues with thermal energy loss. These are all forms of polygeneration solutions. The choice depends on the degree to which the user can employ thermal energy. Closet sized polygeneration units, installed within or around modestly sized and energy efficient mixed use structures (16-25 residents & 1-2 Businesses), currently appear to be the most viable and scalable option.
Issues and Questions

Polygeneration goals

High-grade electricity is required for essential home appliances, the operation of vehicles, machines, industrial processes, and other applications. Generating and transmitting electricity can result in energy loss, including thermal loss. Fossil fuels will be required to meet energy needs, and this can lead to harmful emissions of C02—a byproduct with its own potential value if properly handled. An affordable localized cogeneration option is needed which eliminates waste and captures useful output. Options are emerging, but are not yet scalable enough to become viable. A market of polygeneration solutions needs to develop which meets the following criteria: 

1. Compatible with the direct municipal delivery of properly procured natural gas.

2. Generation capacity of up to 30 people at 500 watts of daily electricity per person.

3. Designed to be located near the structure(s) served in a closet-sized enclosure which is protected from the elements.   

4. Makes efficient use of byproducts including waste heat and CO2.

5. Ability to adapt to clean renewable energy sources as they become economically and technologically viable.

6. Scalable as needed to reduce the costs of acquisition, maintenance, and repair.

7. Affordable, with a cost of less than $50,000 per unit.