Cogeneration refers to the simultaneous production of electricity and heat from a single source of energy. In the end, a general energy efficiency of more than 80% is achievable under full operation capacity.
Cogeneration is a very interesting technology at local level, when there is a need for heat in addition to electricity. On the other hand, if there is no need for heat, cogeneration is not necessarily relevant; its relevance will thus depend on the type of installation (internal combustion engine or turbine).
Cogeneration is widely used in the field of bioenergy:
- Most biogas plants have been equipped to make the best use of biogas. Electricity is either self-consumed or sent to the power grid, while heat is used for the biomethanisation process and other farm or business activities.
- The wood industry uses cogeneration to promote co-products and to achieve energy self-sufficiency. Electricity and heat are both required in sawmill, carpentry, and furnishing industries and for pellet production.