Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), can simultaneously produce heat and electricity from the same facility. Cogeneration is a particularly effective solution since it can make full use of the heat produced as a by-product of power generation.
This heat is captured in a number of ways and is used to:
supply multi-dwelling units, hospitals and municipal buildings;
provide steam for industry.
Electricity can be generated using piston engines that usually run on natural gas. It can also be produced by gas turbines (using technology similar to that employed in jet engines) or steam turbines (using steam from boilers, geothermal energy or waste energy from industrial processes). In each case, the heat is recovered to produce steam or supply hot water to heating networks and buildings.
cogeneration facilities in France, with a total installed capacity of 6.5 GW
Dalkia produced 3.1 terawatts of electricity through cogeneration in 2015
France has Europe's third-largest collection of cogeneration facilities, which account for 4% of overall electricity production, compared with 43% in the Netherlands and 9% in Germany. The 860 facilities in France provide a total installed capacity of 6.5 GW (the equivalent of six nuclear reactors). Over one third of these facilities are in the Ile-de-France, Haute-Normandie and Rhône-Alpes regions.
Dalkia produced 3.1 TWh of electricity through cogeneration in 2015. Our cogeneration capacity across all sites totals 1,045 MW (i.e. 1 GW of the 6.5 GW of installed capacity in France), including: 520 MW from gas engines, 400 MW from gas turbines and 125 MW from steam turbines.
The benefits of cogeneration
Cogeneration offers a whole array of benefits:
significantly reducing CO2 emissions by avoiding the need to produce heat and power separately;
enabling energy savings of between 10% and 15% compared with systems that generation heat and power separately;
developing renewables through cogeneration facilities that use biomass, biogas and biofuels;
providing state-of-the-art facilities that offer a continuous supply of electricity, unlike the intermittent supply of energy from wind and solar sources.
Virtual tour of the Biganos biomass cogeneration plant
Smurfit Kappa Cellulose du Pin site
A few years ago, Dalkia built France's largest biomass-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Smurfit Kappa Cellulose du Pin paper mill in Biganos, in the south-west of the country. Come and take a virtual tour of the facility, a showcase for Dalkia expertise.