According to a recent study, cogeneration or, as it is also called, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) in district heating, is thought to be an efficient enabler for reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.
With the latest Council conclusions, gas CHPs remain an important technology for reducing emissions, especially in regions using coal and in dense urban areas. Switching from coal to natural gas saves over 70% of CO2 emissions, provides security of heat supplies, and improves air quality.
An important product achievable through cogeneration is district heating. Heating and cooling in buildings and industry account for 50% of the EU’s annual energy consumption, with 60 million people using it across the Member States.
While district heating produced in a cogeneration system requires a considerable upfront investment, the technology, if well-used, can reduce Europe’s heating infrastructure carbon footprint. To achieve this, ensuring the decarbonisation of heat is key. Retrofitting the heat sources currently based on coal into gas or turning them into more natural sources, like heat pumps, geothermal or solar thermal energy, could prove to be effective solutions.
As the European Commission works on the revision of the European Energy Efficiency Directive, the Renewable Energy Directive II and the EU Emission Trading System, the energy industry is concerned about what this will mean for cogeneration plants and district heating in the future, especially in those Member States where energy transition relies on switching from coal to gas generation. More specifically, what will this entail in terms of meeting criteria and costs?
Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss how an effective integration between heat and power can meet energy efficiency and contribute to climate change targets and what this will mean for the energy industry in practical terms.