Micro-CHP: a smart and sustainable future for energy

Milan, 31 October 2018 - Combating climate change and air pollution, increasing energy efficiency, promoting the use of renewable energy in the production of electricity and air conditioning and encouraging the active participation of distributed resources in the electric energy market. Thirteen organisations share these objectives – university centers, associations and companies – to promote micro-CHP as a strategic option for Italy’s decarbonisation.

This partnership has been detailed in a position paper prepared in collaboration by research centers and university departments (Politecnico di Milano University, Marche Polytechnic University, Energy Center of Politecnico di Torino), professional, cultural and related associations (AiCARR, Elettricità Futura, Climgas, Anigas), the micro-CHP plant industry (Totem, Solid Power, Tecnocasa, Paradigma) and gas transport and distribution operators (Snam, 2iReteGas). The paper focuses on the advantages of a technological solution that can decarbonise the production of electricity, heating and domestic hot water, exploiting the natural gas transport, storage and distribution infrastructure in place. This solution would create efficiency in the energy system in the short and medium term and, thanks to the use of biomethane, incorporate further use of renewable sources in electricity and heating.

In particular, micro-CHP technologies allow primary energy savings of more than 20% compared to the separate production of electricity and heat obtained from conventional thermoelectric plants and modern boilers, in addition to the reduction of up to 90% of the oxides emissions of nitrogen and particulate matter.

The ability to efficiently integrate boilers and heat pumps, improve air quality in urban environments, reduce energy losses and costs to transmit and distribute electricity, are just some of the additional benefits of this technology which, when powered by renewable gas, also allows to increase the green footprint of the electricity sector and the use of heat.

Furthermore, the expected development of smart grids, electricity production from intermittent renewables and energy communities, together with a growing active participation of consumers-producers in the energy market, will allow micro-CHP plants to provide flexibility and safety services to the energy system.

The sponsors of the "Micro-cogeneration: an intelligent and sustainable future for energy" position paper will contribute to the ongoing debate on the path to decarbonisation, as part of which the country will engage in the “Energy Climate Plan” presented by the EU directives that define the 2030 European environmental objectives, representing a strategic role for micro-CHP technologies.

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31 October 2018 - 12:58 CET