Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 16:33

A combined heat and power (CHP) installation produces both heat and electricity. More energy with less fuel, which can also be generated locally and decentralized. We recently published this article in collaboration with www.duurzametoekomst.be.


Facilitating the nuclear exit 

In the long term, nuclear energy is a finite story. To be able to continue to provide humanity with sufficient energy after the nuclear exit, innovative concepts are the only answer.

Sébastien Farinotti: “CHP can play an important role in the energy transition. With CHP you use fuel in the most efficient way. Moreover, by locally producing energy in the place where it is used, you immediately limit the ecological impact of the transport. "

“This generates a substantial gain: up to 30 percent less fuel is needed to generate the same amount of energy. In addition, cogeneration in Belgium can provide a lot of extra electricity in the short term: as many as 1000 Mwe (Megawatt electric) by 2025, the deadline for the nuclear exit. ”

"A market survey even shows that by 2030 we can generate about 1750 MWe extra. This favourable prediction is mainly due to the fact that these are relatively smaller power plants, which can be licensed and built more quickly.“

"A major advantage here is also that with such a spread the energy supply remains guaranteed, even if something goes wrong in one installation or even a few plants. We all now know the impact of the failure of a large nuclear power plant.”


From fossil to biofuels 

At the moment many CHP plants still run on fossil fuels such as natural gas. Farinotti: "Fossil fuel CHP can contribute to the achievement of climate objectives and the reduction of CO2 emissions compared to separate electricity and heat generation. However, in order to achieve the intended CO2 neutrality by 2050, we must make a strong commitment to greening the energy sources we use.“

"The possibilities with green gas or biomethane continue to grow, so there is a lot of potential there too. For example, life scientists at KU Leuven have recently developed a solar panel that produces hydrogen gas from moisture in the air. The possibilities are growing exponentially.” 


Flexible adaptation to specific needs

"Vanparijs Engineers, subsidiary of Luminus, does more than just install CHP plants. On the basis of specific consumption profiles, we investigate how the customer can achieve optimal efficiency and at the same time save energy.”

"A major advantage of CHP is its flexibility: solar energy depends on the amount of sun, wind energy on the wind... These restrictions do not apply to CHP. Therefore, this technique fits very well in a larger whole.”

"Various optimisations have an impact on the end result: heat storage, heat pumps, flue gas recovery, optimisation of the hot water circuit, steam production, integration in the production process... It is a matter of using, storing and/or making available for the grid, as efficiently as possible, the surplus heat or energy produced locally.”

"In combination with other green energy sources such as solar energy, wind energy or heat pumps, this results in highly energy-efficient total solutions, the only option for an ambitious climate plan.”


03-2019 Sijmen Goossens, redactie.be@mediaplanet.com

English translation: Vanparijs Engineers