The German government is set to take a renewed interest in the potential of combined heat and power technology as a result of compromise on its plans to introduce a new levy on coal-fired power plants.
A government document, revealed to Reuters, shows a softening in approach to forcing harsher emission targets on ageing plant looks lilely to benefit the CHP sector.
The economy ministry, led by Sigmar Gabriel (pictured) now plans to require coal-fired power plant operators to cut their emissions by 16 million tonnes by 2020, compared with a previous target of at least 22 million tonnes. Although not yet approved, government sources told the news agency that now plans to achieve the remaining six million tonnes of CO2 emission cuts for the energy sector by promoting the use of more environmentally-friendly combined heat and power plants.
Meanwhile, in a further boost for the country’s energy efficiency ambitions, a 595 MW combined cycle power plant has been commissioned on the Lausward site of Düsseldorf, Germany, supplying a further 300 MWth of district heating capacity. Based on a Siemens H-class gas turbine with an efficiency level of over 61%, the district heating element increases the overall efficiency of the natural gas-fired unit to around 85%, Siemens says.
The efficiency figures will put the Lausward power plant among the most efficient and environmentally friendly plants in the world.
‘This power plant is a very challenging project. Construction of the plant is progressing right on schedule, thanks to the excellent collaboration with the Düsseldorf municipal utilities’, declared Lothar Balling, head of the Project Management business unit in the Siemens Power and Gas Division.