The European Commission (EC) uses renewable energy sources as a panacea for the problems in the energy sector, but the inherent limitations of these types of energy must be admitted. More precisely, renewable energies must be used “in a smart way” in order to be integrated into an optimal mix for producers and consumers.
“In terms of cogeneration, the direction comes from the EU. It seems that renewables are considered a panacea: photovoltaics and wind for energy, heat pumps for thermal energy, etc. However, there are also disadvantages. Photovoltaic panels do not work at night, so batteries are needed to store the energy. Solar panels for thermal energy help us in the form of hot water supply, but they don’t work in winter, at the same parameters”, said Cristian Athanasovici, BDM, Kawasaki Gas Turbine Europe, at the conference “Cogeneration for energy efficiency and renewables”, organized by Energynomics.
Heat pumps also have limitations related to the temperature level of the primary energy resource, which can be air, water or heat from the ground. Second, the heat pump compressor needs electricity, but if it is only connected to renewable sources, it will not be able to work at night.
According to Athanasovici, the “effervescence” of European funds granted to the production of energy from renewable sources is also not felt in the case of cogeneration energy production, a sector in which the European plans “are not very articulated”.
“Cogeneration keeps electricity and heat systems running and also helps renewable resources. We just need to integrate them in an intelligent manner and integrate them with a mix of sources. Intelligence is needed from how we make regulations, how we write financing guidelines, to how we think the technical solutions for renewable energy projects. However, knowledge is also needed on the part of the beneficiary of a renewable energy system. Cogeneration is not a solution everywhere, just as photovoltaic panels are not a solution everywhere,” said Athanasovici.
At the same time, hydrogen is not yet a feasible solution either. In the opinion of Cristian Athanasovici, only after 2030 could hydrogen become a consistent source of energy at the European or global level.
“The conference “Cogeneration for energy efficiency and renewables” was organized by Energynomics with the support of our partners: Chimcomplex, Electro-Service RB, ENGIE Romania, Horváth, Kawasaki Gas Turbine Europe GmbH.