In June, the International Energy Agency (IEA) presented its Energy Technology Perspective 2008 to the G8 summit, strongly advocating the decarbonization of the power sector. Its foundation stone is the need to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions by 50% (14 Gt) by 2050 – compared with 2005 levels of 27 Gt.

Combined heat and power is one of the technology solutions the IEA is focusing on to provide lower-carbon solutions and energy security rapidly. As IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said at the COGEN Europe conference in May 2008 ‘CHP is a key opportunity to get started right away … This is what I want to see happen’.

How can it be that CHP accounts for only 9% of power generation globally, yet countries such as Denmark can have far higher levels? And how can it be that flaws in energy strategies that are designed to reduce carbon emissions can actually discourage development of CHP? (It’s the European emissions trading scheme I refer to specifically.)

As many features in COSPP magazine have reported, CHP does deliver, and on a wide range of scales. It’s ‘just’ a matter of tipping the balance so that these plants become the technological solution of choice for sound business reasons. To quote Nobuo Tanaka again: ‘We need a new global energy revolution’.

Here, in our yearly Review/Directory issue, a wide range of writers report on policy, financial and technological solutions that are getting more CHP and other forms of decentralized energy built and into operation. They also report from markets where CHP could make a huge impact, if the right leadership is provided by government and industry.

The COSPP team hopes you will find this 2008–2009 Review/Directory issue a useful resource – not only the news and features but of course our updated buyers’ guide section that starts on page 108.

Jackie Jones
Editorial Director
P.S. Have you signed up for our regular e-newsletter? Visit