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Report hails the role of cogeneration combined with renewables


27 May 2011



27 May 2011

IEA report observes that cogeneration is attractive to both policy-makers and private users and investors because it delivers a range of energy, environmental and economic benefits

‘Cogeneration and Renewables - Solutions for a low carbon energy future’ demonstrates that renewables and cogeneration have the potential to work side-by-side to achieve a common low-carbon future. This view reflects the work carried out at the European level by the Renewable Heating and Cooling European Technology Platform.

While renewables accounted for only 10% of the fuels used in cogeneration plants, this share is growing rapidly and renewable-based CHP forms an integral part of the EU's 2050 decarbonisation vision.

Cogeneration technology has the advantage of being able to contribute to renewable power deployment, and to renewable heat. Unlike renewables for transportation and electricity sectors, in which a large number of policies exist to promote the use of biofuels and renewables-based electricity, renewables for heat currently receive little policy attention.

An advantage of renewable heat produced by cogeneration technologies is that the scale is sufficiently big to make it economically viable to measure the heat produced.
Cogeneration can reduce the carbon footprint of some technologies that will invariably be needed to balance the fluctuations in electricity production due to the variable nature of some renewable energy sources. Since cogeneration offers well-established energy efficiency and carbon mitigation credentials, it should be a preferred solution.

Energy efficiency in the form of cogeneration, coupled with renewable fuels, is one of the most powerful tools that can be used to meet energy-related challenges. It is available now if there is sufficient support from policy-makers to make it a reality.