COGEN Europe’s annual conference on 3-4 May in Brussels will examine the factors hindering the expansion of bio-energy cogeneration in Europe, the association has announced.

Speakers at the event will focus on why the opportunity for renewables cogeneration is under-exploited, despite EU strategy’s goal of a high penetration of renewables on the grid by 2050.

Ian Calvert of RWE npower renewables will debate the topic of whether all bio-electricity should be cogeneration.

‘Cogeneration plants can be challenging to develop, because they require co-location plus contractual arrangements with a heat customer. However, cogeneration plants represent the most effective use of any given fuel and we will continue to evaluate opportunities to develop further plants,’ he said, according to COGEN Europe.

Matti Järvinen of MW Power will also focus on the opportunity in expanding bio-energy cogeneration, said the association.

‘At MW Power [a Metso-Wärtsilä joint venture] bio-energy cogeneration is the key business focus,’ said Järvinen. ‘We have long standing experience in biomass combustion and implementing our unique modular BioPower power plants. Currently there is still a huge untapped potential in this sector. We see a clear business opportunity for companies to get involved and to further develop the European market for bio-energy cogeneration.’

Fiona Riddoch, COGEN Europe’s managing director, said the growing importance of sustainability will increasingly lead renewables projects to aim to add value through higher efficiency.

‘Biomass, biogas, geothermal and concentrating solar in combination with cogeneration is a more sustainable approach,’ she said.

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