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What can I choose in the calculator?

The calculator lets you choose the share of total decentralised heat demand covered by Classical Decentralised Cogeneration in Switzerland in the selected year (2035 or 2050).

Classical Decentralised Cogeneration

image Stirling engine/generator set by STM Power Inc.


  • Impact
  • Global market
  • Definition
  • Constraints
  • Assumptions
  • References

IMPACT – What are the impacts of Decentralised Cogeneration?

In Switzerland, increasing the share of Decentralised Cogeneration will have the following impacts:

Energy system

image Reduce final energy demand.

image Likely to increase total fossil fuel consumption.

image Unlikely to promote an increased share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix.

image Likely to reduce pressure on the grid by providing distributed generation capacity.

image Likely to decrease energy independence.

image Likely to increase energy security by reinforcing the grid with distributed generation.

Environment & Climate

image Likely to reduce global CO2 emissions.

image Unlikely to increase deposited waste

Society & Economy

image Likely to increase the cost of the energy transition.

image May worsen balance of payments by increasing fossil fuel imports.

image May increase Confederation income from the tax on mineral oil under the current taxation system

image Can potentially provide consumers with power in emergencies and during grid failures.

GLOBAL MARKET – What is the global market for Decentralised Cogeneration?

In 2010, about 23,000 residential micro-CHP systems were deployed of which about 5,000 were deployed in Europe.[3]


DEFINITION - What is Decentralised Cogeneration?

In a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, the energy from a fuel is used to generate both electricity and heat. Thermodynamically, the heat is recovered from the waste heat of the electricity generation process, resulting in a higher overall energy efficiency than can be achieved if the processes are operated separately.

Decentralised cogeneration, or CHP, systems are targeted at the residential, commercial and small industrial markets.

In the commercial and industrial markets, the cogeneration systems could use either gas turbines or internal combustion engines. In the residential market the primary technology is natural gas or fuel oil fired internal combustion engines, as gas turbines are not a good match for typical residential electricity demand levels.

Wood or biomass fired systems are also available but mostly at larger capacity levels that are better suited for centralised deployment. Other technologies such as Stirling engines are also available though less common.

CONSTRAINTS - What are the key barriers facing Decentralised Cogeneration deployment?

• Decentralised cogeneration systems need to be connected to the electricity grid to be more reliable and this can be challenging from a technical and regulatory viewpoint.

• The capital cost of cogeneration systems is significantly higher than the one of more conventional technologies.

• A significant fraction of both the electricity and heat output of a distributed CHP system must be used to make the system cost effective. It can often be challenging to simultaneously match both loads in small distributed applications.

ASSUMPTIONS – What are the assumptions considered in the calculator?

The model contain five types of decentralized cogeneration technologies: micro gas turbine (100kWe), natural gas internal combustion engine (50kWe and 160kWe), diesel internal combustion engine (200kWe) and stirling engine (wood combustion, 3kWe).

Next tables contain the assumptions that have been introduced in the Centralized cogeneration model of the calculator.

Efficiency [%]
2035 2050
Technology Electricity Heat Electricity Heat
Gas 44 [1]46 [1]45 [1]45 [1]
Oil 39 [2]43 [2]40 45
Wood pellets 23 [2]67 [2]30 60
CO2-eq. emissions [kgCO2-eq./MJfuel] GasmicroGT 0.0721
Wood pellets0.0134
Deposited waste [UBP/MJfuel] GasmicroGT 0.238
Wood pellets2.54
2011 2035 2050
Specific investment [CHF2010/kWe] GasmicroGT 2'011 1'750 1'750
50kWe3'933 3'556 3'461
160kWe2'496 2'161 2'120
Oil2'496 2'161 2'120
Wood pellets2'555 2'172 2'120


[1] NEEDS project (2008), Final report on technical data, costs, and life cycle inventories of advanced fossil power generation systems

[2] Ecoinvent V2.2

[3] Delta EE, 2011, Micro-CHP in Europe Summit Highlights

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d_cogen_more.txt · Last modified: 2019/10/22 09:17 (external edit)