Spain’s investment in cogeneration could exceed €1.5 billion in 4 years

Spain’s investment in cogeneration could exceed €1.5 billion in 4 years if proper conditions are met. This is one of the conclusions drawn by a poll conducted the Spanish Cogeneration Association (ACOGEN) in the 147 active industrial CHP plants.

Thus, 52 percent of co-generators affirm they will invest – until reaching a total of €1.5 billion – if the proper legal framework is set. To that end, they ask for regulatory adjustments and changes allowing them to improve energy efficiency and competitiveness of their industries, self-consumption, security of supply, and distributed generation.

In this sense, more than half of co-generators assert they will invest in the renovation of their plants, but they are waiting for a change in legislation. To that end, they demand the implementation of the Renove Plan enabling them to acquire technology and management capacities they currently lack, so as to guarantee an higher degree of energy efficiency and competitiveness for their industries.

At the present time, after the energy reform implemented by the Spanish government, co-generators compete in the electric market “under difficult operating conditions and with great technological and managerial challenges,” sources from Acogen denounced.

Co-generators have modified their operations in six out of ten industrial plants, becoming more flexible in order to produce power according to the pool price and working fewer hours.

Within this context, co-generators have had no choice but to postpone and reduce their maintenance programs, compromising their future operation. The management of CHP plants has also become increasingly more expensive and requires more external support.

The poll confirms that this is the only technology available for manufacturing in 4 out of 10 industrial plants with CHP.

Therefore, CHP industry demands that legal framework be based on “saving primary energy related to high-efficient CHP, the CHP industries be competitively supplied with heat in a viable manner, the self-consumption fees be indefinitely eliminated, and the power guarantee and availability provided by this [technology] be acknowledged again.” They also request the fees on distributed generation evolve.

Acogen president Antonio Pérez Palacio said: “the future of CHP necessarily involves investing to drive the reindustrialization, achieving a higher degree of energy efficiency and competitiveness in the markets. Thus, the change in legislation required by co-generators is essential, which will lay the foundations for trust and allow CHP industries to achieve their objectives.”

During the event, Acogen also presented the CHP Road Map 2017-2020, which includes six blocks of legislative changes.

Firstly, it refers to making the competitive supply of heat viable for co-generators, basing the law on savings of CHP primary energy and correcting overhauls in the standards of maintenance costs of co-generators.

Secondly, it demands the elimination of the self-consumption fee.

Thirdly, the promotion of the MibGas market in order to turn it into the reference of the reviews of natural gas in Spain.

The Renove Plan is the fourth point in the Acogen’s Road Map, which would allow renovating 2.500 Mw of CHP between 2017 and 2020.

In fifth place, the acknowledgement of the power guarantee and availability provided by CHP. In sixth place, the evolution of fees so that its structure may include distributed generation.

According to people from Acogen, the result of following its recommendations would deliver “competitiveness to 600 industries that produce with CHP 20 percent of Spain’s industrial GDP, €25 billion in sales, and generate more than 200,000 jobs, which will invest €1.5 billion in a technological renovation, as a clear move toward a more competitive production model in Spain.”

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