New efficiency reference values for high-efficiency criteria

CHP manufacturers and experts need to define proof of high-efficiency for new systems that are put into operation beginning 1 January 2016 using new harmonized efficiency reference.

High-efficiency Proof must be calculated with new harmonized efficiency reference values. (origin: peshkova – Fotolia )

Since 1 January 2016 new harmonized efficiency reference values for the separate production of electricity and heat will have to be set from January 1rst 2016 to demonstrate their high efficiency in Europe. Largely unnoticed by the public, the European Union (EU) decided that the EU Regulation 2015/2402 should be in effect from the 12th October 2015. The delegated regulation is applicable since 1 January 2016 and is binding in all parts and directly valid in all Member States.

What purpose do these harmonized reference values have?

These reference values are needed to calculate the primary energy savings from cogeneration plants compared to separate generation of electricity in power plants and heat in boilers. The harmonized efficiency reference values are specified in a regulation in the form of a value matrix which is divided according to period of construction and type of fuel. According to the Directive 2012/27 / EU, the achievable primary energy saving is important criteria for determining whether a CHP plant can be promoted in accordance with the requirements of the European Union.
Basically, cogeneration plants which implement up to 1 MW should achieve minor primary energy savings. CHP plants with an electrical capacity of over 1 MW must achieve more than 10% savings.
Since the harmonized efficiencies were only laid down for a period of a few years, checking of reference values already began in September of 2014. The new efficiency reference values will be checked and if necessary adjusted in no later than four years therefore by 2020.

Result of the reference value review

The reference value for power generation from natural gas has increased slightly. The comparative efficiency is 53% against the previous 52.5%. The reference values for electricity production from some solid and liquid biofuels has increased by almost 5 %. Harmonized efficiencies for waste heat, solar thermal, geothermal and nuclear energy have recently been included.

In the case of liquid and gaseous fuels and separate heat generation there was a wealth of adjustments to be made. Thus affecting an increase in the efficiency of natural gas, LPG and bio-methane by two percentage points. For biogas, the reference value increased from currently 70% to 80%. By contrast, the efficiency reference value for the liquid fuels has decreased by 4-5 percentage points. New reference values for heat sources such as solar thermal or geothermal energy for separate heat production were added in the category „others“.
The review also revealed that correction factors based on climatic conditions should apply only to power generation plants, which are operated with gaseous fuels. The correction factors for avoided grid losses have been updated with respect to the voltage limits and the value of the correction factors.



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