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Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie GmbH

Technical Potential and Ecological Impact of CHP




Paper shows the minutes reserve market potential of distributed cogeneration units

Distributed cogeneration units are flexible and suited to providing balancing power, thereby contributing to the integration of renewable electricity. Against this background, the Wuppertal Institute's researchers Dietmar Schüwer, Christine Krüger, Frank Merten and Arjuna Nebel analysed the technical potential and ecological impact of CHP (combined heat and power) systems on the German minutes reserve market for 2010, 2020 and 2030. Typical CHP plants (from 1 to 2800 kWel) were evaluated in relation to typical buildings or supply cases in different sectors. The minutes reserve potential was determined by an optimisation model with a temporal resolution of 15 min. The results were scaled up to national level using a scenario analysis for the future development of CHP. Additionally, the extent to which three different flexibility measures (double plant size/fourfold storage volume/emergency cooler) increase the potential provision of balancing power was examined. Their key findings demonstrate that distributed CHP could contribute significantly to the provision of minutes reserve in future decades. Flexibility options would further enhance the theoretical potential. The grid-orientated operating mode slightly increases CO2 emissions compared to the heat-orientated mode, but it is still preferable to the separate generation of heat and power. However, the impacts of a flexible mode depend greatly on the application and power-to-heat ratio of the individual CHP system.

The paper "The potential of grid-orientated distributed cogeneration on the minutes reserve market and how changing the operating mode impacts on CO2 emissions" was published in "Energy" (Vol. 110). It is free for download via ScienceDirect for a short period.

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