COGEN Europe welcomes CHP study findings

à‚ The European association for the promotion of cogeneration has welcomed the findings of a recent Ecofys study, which highlights the potential for a higher penetration of cogeneration in industries.

Managing Director of COGEN Europe, Fiona Riddoch told COSPP online, “We issuedà‚  a position paper on the matter in September. Member states themselves have estimated that a doubling of the overall combined heat and power (CHP) sector out to 2030 is economically possible (100 GW electrical capacity), and would translate into additional reductions of fuel imports by 25 Mtoe and a further COà¢â€šâ€š reduction of 55 Mt.”

Riddoch elaborated further on the best methods Europe could deploy in cutting energy dependency, through making the most of each fuel. She added that policy makers need to ensure those industries who invest in the technology are rewarded.

“Energy efficiency is a no-brainer but in many cases CHP adoption is harmed by the split incentive dilemma. Beside the extra investment costs, an industry upgrading its heat only plant to a CHP plant will have more energy delivered to its door than if it were to stay with two separated streams of energy (gas and electricity).”

“In order for trigger investment decision, the national legislative framework should reward this economic actor for the primary energy saved at country level. They are many ways to do that, but today in many countries the benefits of CHP “less primary energy consumed- are not channelled to those actually investing and operating in the cogeneration principle.”

The Ecofys report has emerged in the same week that EU leaders gather in Brussels to endeavour to reach agreement on the bloc’s 2030 Climate and Energy Framework.
Fiona Riddoch
COGEN Europe praised the study but also pointed out that aspects related to district heating need to be further fleshed out if Europe is to fully optimise its potential in the area.

“While the Ecofys paper identifies several technologies that can help curb gas demand in buildings, it omits community heating networks and micro-cogeneration. A CHP plant supplying district heating networks generates both heat and electricity to existing building in a cost effective way. Up to 2020 and 2030, this practical solution will have a significant impact on fossil fuel consumption and biomass/waste integration into the energy system.”

“When a community heating network does not make economic sense, micro-cogeneration solutions are the next energy efficient solutions for natural gas after the condensing principle. Many new combustion-based or chemical reaction-based micro-CHP technologies that have reached home owners are now becoming mature, with significant ramp up expected in the coming years.”

The association sees major growth potential in industries but also in the services sector, as well as commercial and residential building.”

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