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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Combined heat and power (CHP) / Combined heat and power (CHP) (ENER 020) - Assessment published Apr 2012

Combined heat and power (CHP) (ENER 020) - Assessment published Apr 2012

This content has been archived on 12 Nov 2013, reason: Content not regularly updated
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Generic metadata

Topics:

Energy Energy (Primary topic)

Tags:
fuels | energy consumption | electricity | energy | chp | heat | combined heat and power
DPSIR: Response
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
Indicator codes
  • ENER 020
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
2005, 2009
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: Is the European energy production system becoming more efficient?

Key messages

In 2009, the share of electricity produced from combined heat and power (CHP) in the EU-27 was 11.4% a modest growth from 2008 (11.0%), but it has changed little from earlier years, where in 2005 11.1%, despite strong policy support to promote the technology in many Member States. High gas prices, inconsistent energy policies and relatively low electricity prices have kept the competitiveness of gas-fired CHP-plants marginal in many Member States, though there are signs that this is changing.  CHP is also a significant contributor to the heat supply in Europe, supplying 15.2%. However, the EU-15 indicative target of 18% of CHP electricity in gross electricity production by 2010 will be missed (currently 11.0% of total gross electricity production in EU-15).

Share of combined heat and power in gross electricity production in 2009

Note: Share of combined heat and power in gross electricity production in 2009

Data source:

Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - all products  - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Downloads and more info

Share of combined heat and power in gross electricity production in 2005 and 2009

Note: Share of combined heat and power in gross electricity production in 2005 and 2009

Data source:

Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - all products  - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

  • The share of electricity from combined heat and power in total gross electricity production in the EU-27 was 11.4% in 2009, which is a growth from 2008 of 0.4% and a rise from 2005 of just 0.3% points.  CHP has seen modest progress in increasing the share of CHP in EU electricity generation.
  • The share of the heat market has been estimated for this indicator.  CHP provided 15.2% of the total heat supplied in the EU-27 in 2009.  This is an increase in the share from 11.8%, though there have been some adjustments to the methodology for calculating heat, which results in the two years not being directly comparable.
  • The preferred fuel for new CHP plants is natural gas due to its flexibility concerning the heat to power ratio as well as a better environmental performance compared for instance with liquid fossil fuels. In recent years, CHP has suffered from increasing natural gas prices and falling electricity prices, development which diminished the cost competitiveness of these plants. This trend may change in the future given that both prices have now started to rise again (see Eurostat website, Energy Statistics – prices (see link in References section below)). Other barriers included high costs for grid connection to sell surplus electricity, relatively high start-up costs, and the design of the policy framework in some cases.

Specific policy question: What are the key differences among European countries with respect to the promotion of CHP?

Fuel input to CHP plants in the EU-27 in 2009

Note: Fuel input to Combined Heat and Power plants in the EU-27 in 2009

Data source:

Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - all products  - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Downloads and more info

Fuel input to CHP plants in EU-27 and EEA countries in 2009

Note: Fuel input to Combined Heat and Power plants in EU-27 and EEA countries in 2009

Data source:

Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - all products  - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Downloads and more info

Recalculation of CHP fuel input using the CHP Directive

Note: Recalculation of Combined Heat and Power fuel input using the CHP Directive

Data source:

Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - all products  - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Internal analysis (Only EU-27)

Downloads and more info

CHP share of total heat generation in EU-27

Note: Combined Heat and Power share of total heat generation in EU-27

Data source:

Eurostat. Energy statistics: Supply, transformation, consumption - all products  - annual data. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database

Internal analysis (Only EU-27)

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

  • The share of CHP production in gross electricity production was significantly higher in 2009 in the new Member States (15.6 % of total gross electricity production) compared to the EU-15, where the share was 11.0% (see Figure 1a).  Countries with a high market penetration of CHP electricity include Denmark (45.3%), Finland (35.8%), and the Netherlands (32.5%).  In Denmark CHP has received strong government policy support in the past, providing tax incentives and subsidies, and growth has been seen mainly in public supply as a result of investments in district heating infrastructure. Government support was also an important factor in the Netherlands, combined with widespread availability of natural gas. The high level of CHP production in Finland reflects the cold climate, which provides scope for a better use of the heat, through district heating as well as the electricity produced by CHP. In contrast to the process of energy market liberalisation in many other countries, the strong demand for both outputs coupled with a well developed district heating network, has actually helped to stimulate investment in CHP as opposed to hindering its expansion.  Poor infrastructure for natural gas[1] and less demand for heat, in particular in Greece and to a lesser extent Ireland and Portugal, has historically hindered CHP development and the share of CHP electricity remains low in these countries. Eventually, Combined Heat/Cooling-Power Conversion may help to overcome the problem of surplus heat production in summertime and in warmer countries such as Greece and Portugal for space conditioning. A large decline in share has been observed in Romania (from 26.2% in 2005 to 9.6% in 2007), which was due to restructuring, however, the share is now increasing again and in 2009 was 10.8%.
  • The share of CHP in gross electricity production has risen only modestly since 2005.  In 2005, 11.1% of gross electricity production was derived from CHP.  Figure 1b shows the CHP contribution in 2005 and 2009 for the EU-27.
  • Most of the EU Member States have in place feed-in tariffs for CHP promotion. Apart from feed-in tariffs, other support mechanisms exist such as investment subsidies (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland), excise duty exemption, energy tax exemption (Belgium, Finland, Germany, UK), preferential treatment for grid access (Estonia, Slovakia, Bulgaria), fuel subsidy (gas used as input fuel for CHP in Bulgaria, wood chips in Finland), etc. to promote new CHP (COGEN 2007a,b).  The level of feed-in tariff sometimes depends on the size of the unit, on the fuel use (e.g. in Slovakia the feed-in tariff is linked to share of coal in the input fuel, in Estonia peat, waste and shale gas are promoted) or is linked with the obligation to deliver heat into the district heating system (e.g. Latvia).
  • The use of renewable energies (biomass) in combined heat and power provides an opportunity to further improve the environmental performance of CHP, while simultaneously increasing renewable electricity production (see ENER30). However, in 2009, as in 2008, renewables provided only 11.0% (of the fuel input in CHP plants in the EU-27 (see Figure 2a).  Natural gas accounted for 53.6% of the fuel input in EU-15 and 22.6% in the new Member States in 2009. Solid fossil fuels such as coal and lignite provided 14.6% of the fuel input in EU-15 and 74.2% of in the new Member States in 2009 (see Figure 2b).
  • However, fuel input to CHP plants presents a problem from the statistical reporting.  Whereas CHP electricity generation and CHP heat production provide the CHP output, which are in line with the philosophy of the CHP Directive (2004/8/EC). This requires that a CHP plant’s output is divided into that which is part of the CHP process and that which is not. For the fuel input to CHP this appears not to be the case for all Member States.  The CHP Directive sets a minimum threshold of 75% overall efficiency for the CHP process (lower heating value LHV).  However, for a number of Member States the overall efficiency is very low, for example Slovakia 15.8%, Greece 16.8%, Poland 23.4%, Slovenia 23.1% and Italy 30.8%.  Figure 2c presents a recalculation of the fuel used in CHP plants associated with the CHP process.
  • The share of heat production supplied by CHP has been estimated.  Total heat is not reported by Eurostat, but it has been estimated by analysing fuel that was used by final consumers (excluding energy industries, non fuel uses and transport).  Eurostat does collect data on derived heat from district heating.  These two data sets have been combined and assumptions used for boiler efficiency and other uses (see note 6).  Using this method, CHP supplied 15.2% of heat demand of the EU-27.  The countries with a high market penetration are Finland (37.5%), Denmark (32.0%) and Sweden (29.4%).  Finland, Denmark and Sweden are countries with a high share of district heating, while Finland also has strong intensive industries which use CHP extensively.


 (1) Natural gas is the favoured fuel for combined heat and power.

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