The Collaborative’s most recent publication, “Linking Heat and Electricity Systems” (2014) builds on a compendium of case studies to inform the analysis of the impact of barriers impeding increased penetration of co-generation and efficient DHC, as well as to identify opportunities to demonstrate the applied value of these technologies to achieve sustainable energy systems. These barriers are mostly related to poor strategic planning for heating and cooling infrastructure, local energy market conditions failing to ensure energy prices that are reflective of generation costs, and lack of long-term visibility of related energy policies. The report provides a set of policy strategies to overcome market and policy barriers from an energy systems integration approach.
Electricity and thermal energy systems offer numerous opportunities for deep integration
The “Co-generation and Renewables: Solutions for a low-carbon energy future” (2011) report fills a gap in the energy discussion by providing a holistic approach to co-generation, renewables and heat. Some of the technologies that will be used for balancing renewables will inevitably be fossil-based. By increasing the efficiency of conventional power and heat generation technologies, co-generation represents a low-carbon balancing solution. While electricity supply is a crucial aspect of the energy debate and will remain as such, decision makers increasingly realise that heat supply is a significant part of the energy system.
The importance of biomass co-generation compared to overall co-generated electricity production
The IEA CHP/DHC Collaborative report, "Cogeneration and District Energy: Sustainable energy technologies for today…and 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 IEA CHP/DHC Collaborative’s first report, "Combined Heat and Power: Evaluating the Benefits of Greater Global Investment" (2008) confirms that CHP merits a closer look by policy makers as they investigate paths toward a lower-carbon, more efficient, lower-cost and reliable future. An accelerated CHP scenario was developed for G8+5 countries to quantify potential benefits.