A meeting of cogeneration trade associations from across northern Europe has highlighted the significant role that CHP has to play in helping to overcome increased intermittency in energy supply that results from the growing uptake of renewable forms of electricity generation such as wind and wave power.

The meeting heard how cogeneration plants are finding new roles in providing highly energy-efficient balancing services to local grids, compensating for the variability of renewable electricity supply. The scale of the issue was demonstrated as part of the session – a 1 m/s drop in wind speed in Denmark results in the need for an additional 350 MW of electricity to be supplied from other sources.

Examples of how CHP is helping overcome the issue were also provided. In the Netherlands, small CHP plants in greenhouses are helping meet peak electricity demand by operating according to demand cycle and using or storing the useful heat as necessary for future use.

The London meeting, which was hosted by the UK Combined Heat and Power Association, saw participation from several other cogeneration trade associations from countries across the north of Europe.