Companies that need a lot of heat as well as electricity benefit - economically and ecologically - from combined heat and power (CHP), or the simultaneous production of electricity and heat.

The electricity is generated by a gas engine (on fossil or renewable fuel) or turbine. The resulting heat is recovered for heating a building or for a production process.

CHP is thus no more or no less than a smart way to produce heat. Heat is the most important factor and therefore a CHP is usually sized based on the heat demand of the user. The electricity generated is used locally, thus ensuring a more rational use of primary energy and lower CO2 emissions compared to the separate generation of heat and electricity.

CHP provides stable and predictable electricity production, and thus can perfectly complement less predictable renewable energy (read: wind, solar) in a sustainable way. In this way, CHP makes it possible to respond flexibly to the energy market.

Why fossil-fuel CHP still helps reduce CO2 emissions

Even though fossil cogeneration does not seem ideal from an energy transition perspective – after all, you burn gas to make electricity, resulting in a direct negative impact on local CO2 emissions – there are arguments in favour of CHP.

Indeed, Luminus Solutions’ motivation to install quality CHP is exactly the opposite, as it reduces overall CO2 emissions compared to the separate production of electricity and heat.

This is why it is important to look at all levels of the carbon footprint: not just scope 1 because then, as a company, you only look at your own CO2 emissions. So in that case, you will consume more natural gas and emit more CO2. On the other hand, if you also take into account the (lower) purchase of electricity (scope 2), emissions will decrease. After all, simultaneous generation of heat and electricity is more efficient than producing them separately.

They already took the step towards more energy efficiency. You soon too?

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