Cogeneration – utilising available energy otherwise wasted
By M Goth, STEAG Energy Services GmbH
Electricity+Control, June 2014 (pages 46-48)
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In South Africa the Nersa consultation paper from January 2012 defines Cogeneration as the simultaneous generation of electricity and useful thermal energy from a common fuel or energy source. In the South African context, Cogeneration also refers to the production of electricity and useful heat from a fuel/energy source which is a co-product, by-product, waste product or residual product of some underlying industrial process. Cogeneration differs from conventional generation in that it is coupled to an industrial process of the host plant.
In South Africa the use of Cogeneration as a means of more efficient energy production is still at early stage. The potential for Cogeneration in South Africa is largely untapped even though the first plants are being commissioned, for example, the SACC Cogeneration facility. Generally the existing Cogeneration plants in South Africa are rather small in size and built to support on-site electricity and thermal energy consumption. Cogeneration plants built for the purpose to supply electricity into the grid are still to be developed.
A first step in this regard is expected with the release of the Request for Proposal (RfP) for the new coal and Cogeneration independent power producers programme. The RfP is expected to include a further 800 MW allocation for Cogeneration, arising from biomass, industrial waste and combined heat and power sources.
- Why waste energy that is there anyway?
- Cogeneration uses energy otherwise wasted.
- Space heating is an application ideally suited to the use of cogeneration.