CHP. Efficiency is essential

Even 132 years after the commissioning of the first CHP plant, the 130 kW Pearl St Station plant on Manhattan Island, cogeneration still needs some explanation. Nor have the 6,000 MW constructed in Spain 30 years ago been able to demonstrate something which, in the eyes of almost the whole world, is proof positive: CHP is a clean, distributed energy that reduces losses in the system, promotes competitiveness, covers real demands, avoids the need for investments in generation, transport and distribution, improves supply security and reduces energy dependence.

Spain’s continued sideways progress surprises and disappoints, blatantly hindering the advance of CHP and demonstrating a lack of interest in learning about and understanding this technology. The cynical tone of Royal Decree 900/2015 boldly states that: “Distributed generation offers benefits for the system, essentially as regards the reduction of losses from the grid in cases where the generation installations are close to the points of consumption. It reduces the flows of energy through the grid, thereby minimising the impact of the electrical installations on their surrounding area” so that a series of obstacles can later be developed that in practice help preserve the monopoly of the utilities while impeding the development of this distributed generation by penalising it in both economic and administrative terms.

This discrimination is more pronounced when we compare our situation with Mexico’s legislative development. For just over one year, Mexico has been preparing an ambitious Energy Reform designed to fully liberalise the market and promote the economic and environmental sustainability of this activity. And CHP has a part to play in this reform as a fundamental element to help achieve its goals, accompanied by technologically coherent guidelines that have to be able to incentivise and modulate growth in the installations as well as verifying that national targets are met. In this regard, Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) considers the promotion of simple and coherent legislation is a basic cornerstone; a concept completely lacking in Spain and which hopefully one day, we will move closer to. Read more…

Raimon Argemí
Director of Project Development and Consulting at AESA and CEO of ASESORÍA ENERGÉTICA CHP MEXICO, SA de CV and of AESA COLOMBIA, SAS

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2016