Future Challenges for CHP in the UK and Continental Europe, F.Starr PhD, FIMMM, C. Eng : Feb 2010
An objective, but broadly sympathetic, view has been taken of the future of cogeneration in the UK. Although its current problems, appear to have resulted from the market economy, the basis to these difficulties is structural. These arguments are supported by discussions on the electrical and CHP efficiencies of various prime movers. These include IC engines, gas turbines, large scale power plants, nuclear CHP, and micro CHP systems. The future could be difficult too, with CCGT plants being developed to reach electrical efficiencies in the 70-75% range, natural gas prices going even higher, and energy conservation reducing heat demand to a fraction of that today. Renewable heat is both a challenge and an opportunity. The way cogeneration will need to change varies from country-to-country.
Only Denmark appears to have a well thought out policy, in which fossil fuels will be phased out and biomass will supply a greater fraction of the fuel required for CHP and pure district heating schemes. The UK has a huge natural gas infrastructure which creates serious problems for the advancement of CHP in this country. For other European countries, which have extensive town based district heating systems there is a strong argument for basing these on advanced CCGT-Cogeneration or coal based steam plant with CHP. The biggest concern for CHP is that, because it is fossil fuel based, the long term prospects must be in some doubt.
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