EU urged to provide combined heat and power with fair access to electricity grids

Cogen Europe, the association representing the combined heat and power (CHP) industry, has urged the EU to provide fair access to electricity grids. CHP plants use the heat produced during power generation instead of releasing it into the atmosphere and are therefore represent a much more efficient form of energy generation.

“There are three countries that have high CHP penetration – Netherlands, Denmark and Finland,” Simon Minett, director of Cogen Europe, told edie. “In the last couple of years, the UK has made good progress and France has almost doubled its CHP generation. Spain and Belgium are also good markets at the moment.”

Cogen would like to see an EU cogeneration directive or fair access to electricity grids for CHPs provided for in the forthcoming EU draft directive on renewable energy. The EC is expected to present a draft directive on renewable energy this autumn.

Cogen states in its 1999 review that CHP could account for 30% of the European electricity generation market by 2010 if the correct policies were put in place. The EC has stated that an 18% CHP share by 2010 is its target.

Denmark currently has the highest percentage of its national power production coming from CHP generation, at 50%. The Netherlands percentage is 40%, while Finland is 35%. “With Germany, it’s quite difficult to collect statistics,” said Minett. “There’s conflicting evidence. It could be anywhere from 5-20%.”

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