Soviet Union Table of Contents
Although electrical energy is vital to Soviet industry, it is only about one-sixth the total energy generated in the country. Heat, which is also indispensable to industry, cannot be transported over long distances. Most heat came from central heat and power stations in urban and industrial centers, which burned coal, heavy oil, or natural gas to generate heat as well as electricity. In the 1980s, a major program developed large-scale generators to produce heat as a by-product in existing thermal and nuclear power plants. Steam from the latter can be sent as far as forty kilometers. This process, called cogeneration, centralizes the fragmented heat-generation system. In 1985 urban cogeneration plants provided 28 percent of total Soviet power.
Data as of May 1989