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COGEN Europe Briefing Paper on Micro - CHP (Combined Heat and Power units)

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Macro CHP, Mini CHP, Cogeneration, residential, non residential, individual hous

Macro CHP, Mini CHP, Cogeneration, residential, non residential, individual house, electricity grid, smart meters, metering, tariff

COGEN EUROPE Micro CHP: Empowering people today for a smarter future tomorrow
Europe’s energy infrastructure is facing important challenges.  As outlined in the recent Commission Communication on Energy Infrastructure priorities, ‘the risk and cost of disruptions and wastage will become much higher unless the EU invests, as a matter of urgency, in smart, effective and competitive energy networks and exploits its potential for energy efficiency improvements’.  It is commonly agreed that Europe needs to embark on a transition ‘toward a more decentralised power system relying to a larger extent on small-scale (sometimes intermittent) generation from renewable energy sources and Combined Heat and Power units’1.  Micro CHP is part of the solution to relieve the pressure on the electricity grid, while allowing greater active participation of consumers in the management of their energy consumption.

To achieve its target of 20% energy savings by 2020, the EU needs to step up its efforts on energy efficiency, in particular with regard to the residential sector- which accounts for 27% of total EU energy consumption.  New properties can be designed and built to integrate a range of low-energy technologies but for existing properties, heat demand remains high and the ability to retro-fit many renewable technologies is physically limited.  For much of the existing housing stock, micro CHP will therefore be the next generation solution.  It is a high efficiency solution for a market with a current annual potential of around a million units a year across Europe.