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:

  • feed heating networks and boilers;
  • 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.


of cogeneration power operated by Dalkia

3.9 TWh

Dalkia produced 3.9 terawatts of electricity through cogeneration in 2017

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 3.9 TWh of electricity through cogeneration in 2017. Our cogeneration capacity across all sites totals 1,4 MW , including: 800 MW from gas engines, 400 MW from gas turbines and 200 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 25% 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.

Webdoc on cogeneration


Using cogeneration to optimise and secure the energy mix for the Ineos site in Sarralbe

Helping an industrial energy user to effect a partial transition to gas and ensure a more reliable supply of electricity