Europe stands at a decisive point in terms of the future energy supply. Across the Member States, existing power stations – coal and nuclear – are ageing and will soon need to be retired. At the same time, the demand for energy, in spite of efficiency efforts, continues to grow. The coming decades will see massive investment in the power sector. How will that money be spent?

In January, the European Commission proposed its energy package which would put Europe’s power, heat and transport on course for the 21st century. The details are awaiting approval – or otherwise – by ministers from the Member States. The thinking behind the package is clear: to reduce Europe’s carbon emissions, to minimize dependency on fuel imports, and to have a freely operating competitive market. Energy efficiency is a cornerstone of this.

Speaking at the Round Table on International Co-operation in Energy Efficiency (part of January’s EU Sustainable Energy Week), European Commissioner for Energy, Andris Piebalgs, emphasized the importance of cogeneration and DE for improving the efficiency of the power sector. However, the energy package scarcely makes a mention of CHP. The advantages of cogeneration in maximizing the outputs from any fuel – heat and electric power – are more than clear, and CHP has to become an increasingly logical choice when planning and purchasing decisions are made.

This March-April issue of COSPP demonstrates just how versatile CHP and other forms of decentralized energy are, with a wide range of features covering world markets. In a Perspective piece, Saulius Piksrys and Gunnar Boye Olesen offer a vision of how a new biomass CHP sector could supply much of the energy needs for Europe’s Baltic states. Thailand’s new energy regulations will look to boost the uptake of distributed generation technologies, as Chris Greacen reports. This issue also has a Project Profile which illustrates how gas engines are suitable for vastly different trigeneration applications, one at a coal mine and another for a microchip plant.

Jackie Jones
Editorial Director, COSPP

P.S. All new COSPP articles are now available on our website, www.cospp.com. Here you can also subscribe to the print version or our new electronic version, change your subscription details, or sign up for our e-newsletter.