Micro CHP ‘critical’ to UK, report states

Micro CHP systems are ‘critical’ to the UK’s energy and environmental policy goals, according to a new report.

The study by JDS Associates considers how micro CHP technology could dramatically reduce household emissions by replacing condensing boilers often used for residential heating.

Micro CHP encompasses several energy technologies that produce heat and electric power at the same time. Unlike conventional combined heat and power applications, micro CHP produces smaller amounts of heat and electricity, making it ideal for homes and small offices.

According to the report, replacing one million boilers with micro CHP units by 2020 would cut around 2.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

“Micro CHP is an emerging technology and wide and rapid deployment will be crucial to achieving the necessary economies of scale,” it stated.

“The industry is convinced that the installation of over one million micro CHP units in the UK by 2020 is an achievable and credible aspiration, but that the right Government support will be key to making this happen.”

In the report, which was launched by several companies in the industry, it is also suggested that the technology can take advantage of the nation’s existing gas network and
installer skills to allow people to heat their homes efficiently while also generating low-carbon power to be used or exported to the grid. A campaign is now underway for
the right adjustments to be made to the existing policy, including:

  • Raising the Feed-in Tariff to at least 15p/kWh
  • Committing to continued support for micro CHP after the initial pilot of 30,000 installations
  • A comprehensive review of the FIT is now underway, but many in the industry are concerned that the future for micro CHP is looking increasingly uncertain.

There have been calls for changes to building regulations to mandate an emissions performance standard for new domestic heating products, which would remove the need for subsidisation of micro CHP.

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