Dutch cogeneration chief paints bleak picture

A ‘perfect storm’ of negative variables is militating against the potential growth of combined heat and power technology in the Netherlands.Kees den Blanken

If present circumstances continue, it could result in well over half of the country’s CHP capacity being shut down.

Director of COGEN Nederland, Kees den Blanken told COSPP that the situation was very bad at the moment due to low sparkspread, “no”/low CO2 prices, no market rewards for CHP fuel savings, emissions, grid costs and more. But he also indicated the government’s approach isn’t helping arrest the trend.

“We have very difficult market conditions with a hands-off policy by the Dutch government. The government states that CHP conversion efficiency does not help to realise EU renewable energy sources and savings obligations for these are based on final, and not on primary, energy.”

“Lack of money, difficulties with the Dutch natural gas supply and constant lobbying from the coal fired power lobby that the market should (be enabled) do its work means that nothing nor nobody comes to the help of the ailing Dutch CHP sector.”
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Den Blanken points to a report on the sector, which supplements the grim place in which the Dutch sector currently finds itself.

“A recent study by DNV GL and CEDelft energy consultants predicted that with current and expected energy prices and continuation of the non- support for CHP policy, that by 2020/2023 50-80 % of Dutch CHP parks will be halted.”

“Current savings of CHP amount to 170 PJ according to Energy Research Centre Netherlands (ECN) compared with the separate generation of the same amount of heat and power. 50-80% of these 170 PJ savings will be lost, resulting in greatly increased fuel needs and emissions. It’s a gloomy forecast.”

More on the combined heat and power sector in the Netherlands

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