Generating power through cogeneration has many financial advantages:
- The electricity that is generated and used on site is free.
- The surplus electricity is sold back to the grid.
- Your boiler has less work to do, since part of the heat is produced by the CHP unit.
- The system abates your CO2 emissions and thus entitles you to green certificates. The green certificates mechanism (in force in Belgium since 2003) lets you turn your CO2 savings into hard cash. Each MWh (1 Megawatt-hour = 1000 kilowatt-hours) of green electricity generated by cogeneration entitles the operator to a certain number of green certificates, depending on the level of CO2 savings.
Number of green certificates according to the energy source
- As a renewable energy source, vegetable oil entitles one to 1.8 green certificates in places connected to natural gas and 2 green certificates in all other cases. In Brussels, the number of green certificates per MWh issued for vegetable oil CHP units can be greater than three!
- Natural gas entitles one to about 0.6 green certificate in Wallonia and 1.2 green certificates in Brussels (condensing CHP units).
- The price of a green certificate fluctuates between 60 and 65 EUR in the Walloon Region and is as high as 85 EUR in the Brussels-Capital Region. The region guarantees a minimum buyback price.
Investing in a natural gas-fired condensing CHP unit: payback in less than five years!
Thanks to the computational tools made available by the facilitating agencies, it is possible to pre-scale the CHP unit correctly to meet your real heat and electricity needs. Beyond 5,000 hours and with an own consumption rate above 70%, your cogeneration unit will pay for itself in four to five years.
Cogeneration fuelled by rape oil: Is it worthwhile?
Rape oil is for positive energy projects and situations where a minimal carbon footprint is sought. The fuel’s price, number of operating hours, and power consumption are decisive factors in making this choice. The higher fuel price is partially offset by a higher green certificate entitlement.