Working together to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy

The IEA CHP/DHC Collaborative

In 2007 the IEA created the CHP/District Heating and Cooling (DHC) Collaborative to promote the deployment of cost-effective, clean and efficient CHP and District Energy technologies and assess related global markets and policies. The Collaborative works with government agencies, industry and non-governmental organisations on the following activities:

  • Collecting global data on current CHP and DHC applications.
  • Assessing growth potentials for key markets.
  • Developing country profiles with data and relevant policies.
  • Documenting best practice policies for CHP and DHC.
  • Convening an international CHP/DHC network, to share experiences and ideas.

Major economies’ CHP potentials under an accelerated CHP scenario, 2015 and 2030


The IEA’s latest CHP report, “Co-generation and Renewables: Solutions for a low-carbon energy future” (2011) fills a gap in the energy discussion by providing a holistic approach to co-generation, renewables and also heat. Some of the technologies that will be used for balancing renewables will invariably be fossil-based. By increasing the efficiency of the latter technologies, co-generation represents a low-carbon balancing solution. While electricity supply is a crucial aspect of the energy debate and will continue to remain as such, decision makers increasingly realise that heat supply is a sizable part of the energy system.

The importance of biomass co-generation compared to overall co-generated electricity production

The IEA Collaborative report, "Cogeneration and District Energy: Sustainable energy technologies for today‚Ķand tomorrow" (2009) identifies proven solutions that governments have used to advance CHP and district energy, setting out a practical ‘’how to’’ guide with options to consider for design and implementation. The report concludes that these technologies do not need significant financial incentives; rather they require the creation of a government ‘champion’ to identify and address market barriers. This makes CHP and district energy ideal investments at a time of tight budgets. 

The 2009 CHP report follows the IEA’s first report from March 2008, "Combined Heat and Power: Evaluating the Benefits of Greater Global Investment". There are also 11 "Country Scorecards" that evaluate different countries’ success in achieving increased use of CHP and DHC.

IEA International CHP/DHC Collaborative contact