The fate of Micro-CHP in European markets rests on its ability to compete with low cost gas technologies, such as hybrid heat pumps, which hold several advantages in their favour.

The technology faces challenges in driving down installed cost, customer acceptance and in many markets, its ability to compete with hybrid heat pump technology
Delta EE
That’s the view of Scott Dwyer of Delta-EE, a leading consultancy for low carbon technologies, who spoke to COSPP after the latest in a series of webinars aimed exploring the future of the European heating market today.

“We’d say that micro-CHP prospects are ‘varied but generally fair’ across the markets we’ve looked at so far up to 2020, but they do improve thereafter. It will be competing in many key segments against hybrid heat pump technologies (cheap, easy to retrofit, favoured by some regulations) and so the outcome of this could be a key measure of its success.”

Dwyer added that from a country by country perspective, micro-CHP is expected to gain good traction in the boiler replacement market in the Netherlands by 2025 but faces a big challenge from hybrid heat pumps in the nearer term. In France, micro-CHP struggles to compete due to poor spark spread but should building regulations in 2020 tighten (requiring positive energy homes) as is expected (but not guaranteed), then micro-CHP could well play a much bigger role.

This week’s webinar featured a focus on the Dutch and French heating markets and follows up Delta’s earlier online event, which featured analysis of Germany and the UK.

Comparing the state of the sector among those four countries, clear patterns have emerged, according to Dwyer.

“Germany is still expected to be the best market initially for mCHP products (due to spark spread, higher price tolerance for heating systems, less size constraints on systems) but we see the UK eventually overtaking it post-2020. Also, an interesting battle occurs between engine and fuel cell across many of the different markets.”

Dwyer was joined by fellow Senior Analyst Stephen Harkin in presenting the results of the consultancy’s latest analysis. The next webinar in the series will do a compare and contrast across all the markets Delta have researched .

Much of this week’s analysis also dealt heavily with the present state of the heating markets in the Netherlands and France, as well as future outlooks. Both markets are incredibly different in their structure and future outlooks, with variable implications for all decarbonising technologies.

The consultancy performed much analysis on the respective nation’s housing stock profiles in drawing their conclusions. The analysis is clear that low cost boilers are the technology low carbon alternatives, including micro-CHP need to beat.

Stephen Harkin told the online audience that while there are “nice opportunities” for low carbon technologies like micro-CHP in France the relatively low electricity prices in that country means air source heat pumps and hybrids could dominate.”

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