Cogeneration 2050: the role of cogeneration in a European decarbonised energy system

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It is difficult to argue that Europe can afford to waste energy. Increasing fuel prices, security of supply, increasing global competition and budget constraints all signal that Europe must shift to a more efficient energy future.
Using the principal of cogeneration when electricity is generated greatly improves the overall efficiency of the process. The electricity sector currently dumps over 50% of its input fuel as heat while making electricity in unabated thermal power plants. The scenario presented in this report asks the question “What can cogeneration contribute in 2050?” and based on published data proposes that in 2050:

  • Cogeneration will have been extensively deployed for renewables, as sustainability of all resources becomes a priority. Renewables will be the dominant fuel used for cogeneration in 2050.
  • Cogeneration will be the key in de-carbonising industrial heat encouraging European industry to improve its efficiency and remain competitive globally.
  • Cogeneration will provide valuable balancing services and predictable power for a forward electricity market in a system with substantial intermittent renewables.
  • The integrated approach to energy supply embodied by cogeneration will reduce grid transmission losses while encouraging maximum use of local resources renewables and waste heat.
  • CHP makes the European Union’s decarbonisation scenario more cost effective and resource efficient