Banking on CHP for greening cities

Anyone would expect the UK’s government-owned Green Investment Bank (GIB) to support high efficiency cogeneration and district energy projects, and indeed it does.

In the last year, the GIB has invested in a 90 MWe biomass-fuelled CHP scheme to be built at a Scottish whisky distillery; a 20 MWe CHP scheme to burn waste wood on Merseyside, England; and has made its first move into Northern Ireland ” for a 16 MWe biomass-fuelled CHP scheme in Derry. The Bank has also made its fourth investment in the UK’s National Health Service ” for a 1.3 MWe gas-fired CHP unit now installed at Cheltenham General Hospital, England.

The member state-owned European Investment Bank (EIB) also has a record of supporting cogeneration schemes and, as with the UK’s GIB, seems to favour schemes fuelled with renewable fuels. In the last year, the EIB has invested in a biomass-fuelled cogeneration/district heating scheme being built in Stockholm, Sweden; the refurbishment (from heavy fuel oil to biomass and gas) and expansion of a cogeneration/district heating scheme in Klagenfurt, Austria (right); and a series of biomass CHP schemes to be built in France.
Klagenfurt, Austria
But, as well as investing directly into new schemes, the UK’s GIB has released a list of its ten favoured ways to make UK cities greener. The Bank includes on-site CHP, district heating and local renewables among the most effective types of green infrastructure already used in some UK cities and ready to be: ‘rolled-out out immediately and at scale across the country.’

According to the GIB report: Smarter, greener cities: ten ways to modernise and improve UK urban infrastructure, CHP and district heating together offer a potential investment opportunity of more than €1.4 billion across the UK to 2020. Distributed renewables ” dominated by roof-top solar photovoltaic technology ” offer a further €4″5 billion of potential investment. Other measures cited include energy-from-waste schemes, LED street lighting and low carbon public transport fleets.

Cities are crucial, adds the GIB, because they are growing. In the UK, 98% of cities and urban areas are growing in population, creating greater demand on transport, energy, water, waste, and building infrastructure. It is investment in modern, green infrastructure projects that delivers the improvements which cities and their residents need: particularly reduced air pollution, improved energy efficiency and lower energy bills. And investing in green infrastructure projects is what state-owned investment banks are good at.

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