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Cogeneration and renewables: a winning combination


16 Mar 2012



A high penetration of renewables on the electricity network is at the heart of EU’s strategy for substantially decarbonising electricity by 2050 but the opportunity for renewables cogeneration is still under exploited. At the COGEN Europe Annual Conference 2012, Europe’s largest annual cogeneration event taking place on 3-4 May in Brussels, speakers are taking on the challenge of what is stopping bio-energy cogeneration expansion.

In his contribution Ian Calvert (RWE npower renewables) debates 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”.

Matti Järvinen emphasises the opportunity in expanding the market in bio-energy cogeneration. “At MW Power (a Metso-Wärtsilä joint venture) bio-energy cogeneration is the key business focus. 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, Managing Director of COGEN Europe, adds that “cogeneration is a foundation efficiency technology for Europe. As sustainability rises on the policy agenda more renewables projects will seek to add value through higher efficiency. Biomass, biogas, geothermal and concentrating solar in combination with cogeneration is a more sustainable approach".


For more information please contact:

Dr Fiona Riddoch, Managing Director

Tel: +32 2 772 8290 Fax: + 32 2 772 5044 Email:

Stefan Craenen, Communications Manager Tel: +32 2 772 8290 Fax: + 32 2 772 5044


About cogeneration:

Cogeneration (also known as CHP or Combined Heat and Power) is the simultaneous production of heat and electricity. 11% of Europe’s electricity and associated heat requirements today are produced using this proven energy efficiency principle. The estimated growth potential for cogeneration is a further 110-120 GWe which will lead to an improved environment and greater economic competitiveness in Europe.

Cogeneration units can be found in different sizes and applications: industry, households and tertiary sector and spans applications with capacities ranging from below 1kw to hundreds of Megawatts.

It is a highly efficient energy solution that delivers energy savings and substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. When seriously supported, as in Denmark, CHP has the potential to increase the energy production and transformation system overall efficiency from a bare 33% (EU average) up to 65%.

Realising the potential of cogeneration in Europe will contribute significantly to reaching the strategic climate and energy goals, such as security of supply, energy efficiency and reduction of emissions.

About COGEN Europe:

COGEN Europe is the European association for the promotion of cogeneration. We represent 70 organisations which are National COGEN Associations, manufacturers, users, utilities and service companies. Currently around 100,000 Europeans are employed in the cogeneration sector. More info on