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Joint IEA-CEM Workshop Explores Role of CHP and DHC in Sustainable Energy Systems

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Joint IEA-CEM Workshop Explores Role of CHP and DHC in Sustainable Energy Systems

More than 40 participants from industry, academia, governments, and international institutions attended the 25 February workshop, which explored how CHP and DHC can create a more sustainable, flexible, and integrated energy system.

The Clean Energy Ministerial’s Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and Efficient District Heating and Cooling (DHC) Working Group hosted a Sustainable Urban Energy Systems Workshop in cooperation with the International Energy Agency (IEA) CHP/DHC Collaboration on 25 February 2015. The workshop was one of six side events at the European Commission’s Heating and Cooling in the European Energy Transition conference in Brussels, Belgium. More than 40 participants from industry, academia, governments, and international institutions attended the workshop, which explored how CHP and DHC can create a more sustainable, flexible, and integrated energy system.   

Pentti Puhakka from Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy opened the workshop with a presentation on the role of CHP and DHC in supporting the transition to a global clean economy. CHP and DHC can improve energy efficiency and increase the flexibility of the energy system to enable higher shares of renewable energy. View presentation

John Dulac from IEA noted that more than 25% of global primary energy supply is lost prior to reaching end uses, and 50% of global energy in buildings is used for heat. By integrating heat and electricity systems, CHP and DHC technologies can reduce these statistics and significantly increase efficiency. However, Dulac noted that taking advantage of CHP and DHC requires new business models to cope with the deep level of integration necessary for this change. The 2016 edition of IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives will concentrate on urban energy systems. In support of the report, the CHP/DHC Working Group is providing expertise and data for development of an analytical framework for local energy system analysis. View presentation

Eva Hoos from the European Commission described the benefits of CHP and discussed how the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive will address the efficiency of heating in buildings by means of a comprehensive assessment. Member states will be required to forecast long-term demand through 2030 and the availability of efficient, low-carbon, renewable, and waste heat sources for heating and cooling. The assessments should also establish policies and measures through 2020 and 2030 to exploit cost-effective potentials for efficient district heating and cooling and cogeneration. View presentation. Johan Carlsson from the European Commission Joint Research Centre presented methodologies under development that will support member states in completing these assessments. View presentation.

The presentations by Pasi Muurinen and Jannis van Zanten provided impressive examples of cities using CHP and efficient DHC. Muurinen from Tampere Power Utility described the use of DHC in Tampere, Finland, a region that experiences both frigid winters and hot summers. District heating covers about 90% of the annual 2 TWh heat market in Tampere. 80% of district heat is generated by CHP, using both renewable and fossil fuels. Tampere is working to increase its share of renewable district heat to 50% by 2016, making investments in wood and pellet heat plants and waste-to-energy CHP plants. In addition, in 2012 Tampere began using district cooling by utilizing cold lake water. View presentation.

Amsterdam is also striving to increase its use of DHC. van Zanten from AEB Amsterdam presented an ambitious target to connect 40% of Amsterdam buildings to the district heating network by 2040, which would significantly reduce the use of natural gas in the city. AEB Amsterdam currently operates one of the world’s largest waste-to-energy CHP plants, which uses 1.5 million tons of waste annually. In the future, biomass, geothermal, and solar energy will be incorporated into Amsterdam’s district heating production. View presentation.

The presentations fostered discussions about the future of CHP and DHC and how to overcome the barriers currently hindering the deployment of CHP and DHC technology. 

About the Combined Heat and Power and Efficient District Heating and Cooling Working Group

The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and efficient District Heating and Cooling (DHC) Working Group is part of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP) initiative. The Working Group seeks to increase awareness about the ample benefits provided by CHP, which include reduced fuel consumption, increased energy savings, greater flexibility of the energy grid and market, and increased use of renewables. In addition, the Working Group provides education and outreach to facilitate the adoption and implementation of CHP and efficient DHC.