BDEW and AGFW Call CHP Indispensable for Climate Goals – Changes Needed for Legal Framework

Combined heat and power is  essential for reaching Germany’s energy policy goals, the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) and AGFW, the German Heat & Power Association, said when presenting a new study on CHP. To better tap the potential of CHP, they demanded changes of the legal framework.

The study comes to the conclusion that the use of CHP could save up to 25% of the CO2 emissions expected for Germany in 2050. Besides, the study sees a considerable potential for electricity and heat generation by CHP plants in the long-term. “In an energy system with a growing amount of intermittent renewable energy CHP can provide an important contribution for a safe energy supply that meets the demand.  In order to balance the fluctuating renewable energy supply, power-to-heat plants and heat storage systems can supplement CHP plants”, BDEW and AGFW said.

According to the study, the share of CHP among the non-volatile energy sources could rise from currently 19% to 63%. The use of more environment-friendly natural gas in CHP plants could be increased from 50% to 75%, and micro and mini CHP plants could reach a share of 10% of the heat market.  

To better tap this potential and support the German energy policy shift towards a mainly renewable energy supply by 2050, BDEW and AGFW demanded changes in the regulatory framework. For one, they said that only a functioning emission trading system would promote CHP plants and their expansion. Besides the premiums paid under the existing Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG) for electricity from CHP plants and the whole classification in the KWKG had to be reviewed as the forecasts made by the government in 2011 that lead to the latest KWKG amendment had not become reality. Furthermore, the financial support for district heat and cooling networks and heat and cold storage system should also be reviewed, as they were an important cornerstone for the operation of CHP systems. It was, however, important that amendments of the regulatory framework included safeguards for existing CHP plants.

In June 2012, when the Federal Council (Bundesrat) cleared the way for the latest KWKG amendment it already demanded further amendments in the future.

Source: BDEW

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