CHP, also known as ‘co-generation’, is the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat from a primary fuel such as natural gas. Electricity is generated on site by using natural gas to drive an alternator connected to the engine. The heat from the exhaust fumes generated by the engine is harvested to provide heating and hot water for buildings, to supply district heating systems or process heat for industry (e.g. dairy processing plants and pharmaceutical operations). Some of the thermal energy can also be used to provide cooling and air conditioning through the use of absorption chiller technologies (known as ‘trigeneration’). CHP technology is mature and well proven, and is expected to play an important role in Ireland’s transition to a lower carbon energy mix. This technology, combined with the introduction of renewable gas (biomethane) into Ireland’s energy mix, will help Ireland to reach the ambitious target of delivering 70% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
CHP is suitable for a wide range of applications however, it is particularly appropriate as an energy solution, where there is a high demand for both electricity and heat or hot water. At a European level, CHP is embedded across many sectors including food, distilling, agriculture, ceramics, chemicals, refining and paper, and in the supply chain of many more industries including packaging, food processing and the automotive sector.
Here in Ireland, the levels of CHP applications are low with just 7.3% of Ireland’s electricity and 6.3% of the country’s heat demand coming from CHP installations in 2017 (the European figure in 2017 was 11.3%). A large proportion of these CHP units are within the services sector, including hotels and leisure centres. The food and beverage sector also represents a major industry powered by CHP. Hospitals and nursing homes are another sector which is particularly well suited to CHP, due to its high demand for electricity, heat and hot water.
✔ Significant reduction in energy cost
✔ Short project payback times achievable
✔ CO2 emissions reduced
✔ Lower carbon tax
✔ Security and continuity of power supply
✔ Conservation of valuable fuel resources
✔ NZEB compliance
Due to potential inefficiencies in centralised electricity generation and transportation, plus the resulting cost of electricity from energy suppliers, significant financial savings can be made by generating electricity on site to meet local requirements. Using co-generation to provide both heat and electricity on site allows a business to reduce overall energy costs resulting in a significant competitive and productivity advantage.
In conventional centralised electricity generation, much of the input energy (over 50%) is lost to the atmosphere as waste heat. Distributed electricity generation, through the installation of suitably designed CHP systems, makes use of almost all of the heat generated in the generation process locally – in 2017 the useful heat output was estimated at 99% of the total heat generated by CHP plants. The efficiency of a CHP plant can exceed 90% if designed and installed correctly, and is typically 20-25% higher than the combined efficiency of heat-only boilers and conventional power stations. The use of CHP in 2017 avoided 423,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions when compared with conventional electricity and heat production.
CHP therefore has the potential to be an economic means of improving the efficiency of energy supply, as well as, achieving environmental targets for emissions reductions, which is becoming an increasingly important consideration for all businesses.
Gas Networks Ireland, together with its parent company Ervia, published “Vision 2050 – a Net Zero Carbon Gas Network for Ireland” in October 2019. The vision sets out how through a combination of technologies and initiatives the gas network can reduce Ireland’s total carbon emissions by one third and create a net zero carbon gas network.
Renewable gas entered the gas network for the first time in 2019, it is a clean, renewable and carbon-neutral fuel, which can significantly improve the sustainability of the natural gas network and reduce dependency on imported natural gas. Renewable gas has the potential to further improve the environmental benefits offered by gas-fired CHP applications.
European Union energy policy requires that all member states take due consideration of the role CHP can play in meeting energy efficiency targets. It requires analysis of CHP as a potential solution for new and refurbished electricity generating stations, major industrial installations that generate waste heat at a useful temperature, and large-scale new and refurbished district heating systems. Electricity generated from high efficiency CHP is also required to have guaranteed access to the electricity grid and to be provided with priority dispatch.
On 17 June 2019, the Government published the wide-reaching Climate Action Plan setting out a cross-sector suite of objectives and actions aimed at reducing Ireland's carbon emissions. The plan includes a number of new – and existing – measures that will have broad implications for the energy sector. The Climate Action Plan includes an ambitious target to deliver 70% of Ireland's electricity from renewable energy by 2030. CHP will play a key role – it has the potential to support the growth of sectors with high power demand in a sustainable manner, while also capable of delivering low-cost heat to industrial processes and district heating. The Plan sets out measures to support further development of CHP through a range of incentives aimed at encouraging uptake in the market place. This includes the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) (which will support the heat output from biomass and biogas high efficiency CHP projects), the RESS (which has the potential to support the electricity output from high efficiency renewable energy CHP plants), and the Climate Action Fund (where the first call for applications included specific provision to support CHP plants).
|0830||Registration and morning coffee|
|0900||Chair: Therese Murphy
Principal, 3S Consulting and secretariat, Demand Response Aggregators of Ireland
Head of Commercial and Corporate Affairs, Gas Networks Ireland
|Welcome and Introduction|
|Dr James Watson
Director General, Eurogas
|Gas - a vital part of the clean energy future|
National Customer Acquisition Manager, Gas Networks Ireland
|Distributed power generation: Benefits of combined heat and power to industry|
Head of Policy, Association for Decentralised Energy, UK
|CHP’s role in UK energy policy|
Technical Sales Manager, Electricity Exchange
|Demand response. Gas engine opportunity|
Director, Carbon Alternatives
|Economics of district heating|
|Questions & answers / Panel discussion|
|1100||Morning coffee / networking break|
|1130||CHP working in practice|
Energy Management Lead, Dublin City Council
|The benefits of the ESCO model for energy users|
Technical Services Manager, University College Dublin
|Capturing the benefits of large scale CHP|
Property Director, Keelings
Energy Management Consultant, Keelings
|The use of CHP in the food and beverage industry|
Managing Director, Kaizen Energy
|Overcoming the barriers to developing residential district heating in Ireland|
General Manager The Gibson Hotel
|CHP as a practical energy solution for the hotel industry|
|Questions & answers / Panel discussion|
|1315||Chairman’s summary followed by networking lunch|
|1400||Tour of The Gibson Hotel CHP Unit|
This event is free to attend, registration is requiredRegister now
The conference venue is accessible for those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. If you have any additional requirements, and wish to attend the conference, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss how these can be accommodated.
The conference will be relevant to anyone with an interest in CHP as an energy solution. This will include:
The conference will be of particular interest to energy / environment / facilities / technical managers with responsibility for buying and managing energy within industrial and commercial organisations, and those keen to learn more about how CHP can deliver significant cost and environmental savings.