biofuel fired micro CHP

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Micro CHP in rural areas

Micro Combined Heat & Power (CHP) has the potential to revolutionise the electricity industry in the UK and much of Western Europe. It is a cost-effective method of generating electricity with an estimated potential capacity of up to 22GW installed in the UK, significantly greater than the entire nuclear industry.

Not only is it economically viable for the end-user without any form of subsidy, it also represents the most cost effective carbon mitigation strategy of all technologies at or near market.

However, the current estimates of market potential are invariably based on the assumption that micro CHP units will replace gas-fired boilers in hydronic central heating systems. Whilst this may be true in the early stages of market development, there is a substantial additional potential for installations in rural areas where a natural gas network is not available and the opportunities for network support are considerably greater. Including such installations in the estimates for micro CHP raises the potential by around 10% in the UK, but up to 100% in other EU States, such as France.

Of greater significance, perhaps, is that these installations may also provide the earliest opportunity for the utilisation of liquid bio-fuels, raising carbon mitigation potential to over 50 million tonnes per year in the UK, and demonstrating the longer term role of micro CHP as a carbon-free domestic energy supply option.

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This site was last updated on 01 January 2015  Jeremy Harrison