Energy

Cogeneration of heat and power

Cogeneration of heat and power

Cogeneration is the simultaneous production of electricity and useful heat. In a regular power plant, the heat produced in the generation of electricity is lost, often through the chimneys. But in a cogeneration plant, it is recovered for use in homes, businesses, and industry. A trigeneration plant also produces cooling (air conditioning), as well as heat and electricity.

Cogeneration plants can achieve energy efficiency levels of around 90%. Increased cogeneration could lower greenhouse gas emissions by up to 250 million tonnes by 2020. Small cogeneration facilities can also be an effective way to supply energy to remote areas without the need for expensive grid infrastructure.

Promoting cogeneration in Europe

The Energy Efficiency Directive requires each EU country to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the national potential of cogeneration and district heating and cooling (a main user of cogeneration) by December 2015.

EU countries must also ensure a cost-benefit analysis is conducted on the potential for using cogeneration when they plan to build or substantially refurbish:

  • a heat or electrical installation with a total thermal input exceeding 20MW
  • an industrial installation generating waste heat with a total thermal input exceeding 20MW
  • a district heating and cooling network exceeding a total thermal input of 20MW. In this case, the intention is to see if it is cost-effective to utilise waste heat from nearby industry

Exemptions

In certain cases, the facilities exceeding 20MW thermal input described above may be exempt from a cogeneration cost-benefit analysis. Specifically:

  • facilities that are expected to operate for less than 1500 hours per year over a five year period. For instance, back-up electricity installations and peak load power plants that are only turned on during very high levels of demand
  • nuclear power installations
  • installations located close to a geological site for carbon capture and storage

EU governments are required to notify the European Commission of these exemptions. Their notifications are found below.

 

Member State

   

Article 14.6

   

Annex

 
Austria

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Belgium

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Bulgaria

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Croatia

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Cyprus

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Czech Republic

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Denmark

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Estonia

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Finland

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France

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Germany

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Greece

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Hungary

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Ireland

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Italy

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Latvia
 

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Lithuania

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Luxembourg

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Malta

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Netherlands

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Poland

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Portugal

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Romania

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Slovakia

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Slovenia

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Spain

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Sweden

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United Kingdom

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Annex

 

National cogeneration reports

Under the now repealed Cogeneration Directive, EU countries were required to publish national reports on cogeneration every four years.

Interpretation of Cogeneration Directive [SWD(2012)13]

First Round of National Reports:
Member States' reports in their original language   |Translated in English

Second Round of National Reports:
English versions
Original versions

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