Global sustainability consultancy, Ricardo-AEA has been appointed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy to review and update the reference values that help to determine the efficiency of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants across the EU.

Under the Energy Efficiency Directive, CHP plants in schemes generating one megawatt of electricity or more have to deliver primary energy savings (PES) which are greater than 10 percent, judged as ‘High Efficiency CHP’, to qualify for financial support.

The harmonized reference efficiency values for the separate generation of heat and electricity enable PES to be calculated in a standardized way across the EU. The European Commission aims to review and update these values every four years to account for technological developments and changes in the distribution of energy sources.

Oxfordshire, UK-based Ricardo-AEA will carry out the work in collaboration with a number of European partners. Project activities include an extensive data collection exercise on the performance of power stations, heat generation stations and CHP plants including a full review of the existing scientific literature. Consultations will also be undertaken with relevant industry stakeholders using surveys to verify data or address any gaps in the evidence base.

“CHP has a significant role to play in helping countries to make primary energy savings,” said Ricardo-AEA business manager for CHP Mahmoud Abu-Ebid.

“As a result, policies have been developed across Europe to support the development of CHP which currently accounts for around 11 per cent of the EU’s total generation of power. We look forward to providing technical assistance on this project for the Commission as the reference values provide an important foundation for the development of CHP policies across Europe.”