A new ene.field report authored by Imperial College London1 presents ground breaking findings on the value of widespread deployment of micro-cogeneration. The report provides sound evidence on the grid stability, system-wide efficiency and decarbonisation benefits of fuel cell micro-cogeneration roll-out in Europe for the period 2020-2050.
The Imperial College London report identifies important benefits of a higher penetration of micro-cogeneration, including fuel cell micro-cogeneration (fuel cell micro combined heat and power or FC micro-CHP), for the future energy system. When compared with an energy system with no micro-CHP, adding micro-CHP to the energy mix generates a gross reduction in infrastructure and operating costs of more than €6,000 for every kilowatt of installed capacity up to 2050. Micro-CHP system benefits at distribution level will amount to € 1,600 – € 2,600 per installed kilowatt-electric (kWe), mainly by deferring the investment cost at the low voltage level. Wide deployment of micro-CHP is not only improving the efficiency of the overall system, but also significantly reducing carbon emissions, in the range of 370 – 1,100 kg CO2 per year for each kWe of installed micro-CHP capacity. Indeed, with the right framework in place, micro-CHP, including FC micro-CHP, could deliver more than 32 million tonne CO2 reductions in 2030, equivalent to Slovakia’s total emission projections for 20302.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Danny Pudjianto from Imperial College London said: “To assess the impact of micro-cogeneration uptake over the period 2020-2050, we used the Whole Electricity System Investment Model (WeSIM), which accounts for national climate and energy strategies impact on the generation mix through time. This comprehensive analysis allowed us to show conclusive results on the significant value of micro-CHP in the future energy system”.

Hans Korteweg, Managing Director of COGEN Europe, the Co-ordinator of ene.field project, added: “This report provides key evidence to inform the policy debate on climate and energy at both EU and national levels. It identifies micro-CHP as an important technology addressing the flexibility and decarbonisation challenges of our future energy system, while reducing overall energy system costs. Quantifying the benefits of micro-CHP only takes us half way. It is now time for European and national authorities to step up and establish favourable legislative frameworks that fully recognise the contribution that micro-CHP can make to the energy transition”.

Over the past five years, the European Union (EU) co-funded ene.field project has deployed and monitored over 1,000 new installations of residential FC micro-CHP across 10 key European countries. It represents a step change in the volume of fuel cell deployment for this sector in each country. By learning the practical implications of installing, operating and supporting a fleet of fuel cells with real world customers, ene.field will demonstrate the environmental and economic imperative of FC micro-CHP, and lay the foundations for market exploitation.

Read here the full ene.field report.

To find out more about ene.field project outcomes, the partners are delighted to invite you to attend the ene.field and PACE event and exhibition “Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration: Generating Sustainable Heat and Power for your Home”, which will take place in Brussels on Wednesday, 11 October. Organised in partnership with the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, this important event will highlight key findings of flagship project ene.field and introduce PACE, which will build on the success of ene.field. The event will take place as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities.


1 The report, “Benefits of Widespread Deployment of Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration in Securing and Decarbonising the Future European Electricity System”, was authored by Imperial College London, one of the ene.field partners. It compares two scenarios: (i) a system without micro-CHP, called the Reference scenario, where the electricity was supplied by a portfolio of generation with no micro-CHP and the heat demand was met using electricity-heat pump primarily, (ii) a system with micro-CHP, called the micro-CHP scenario, where the electricity demand was supplied by a portfolio of generation including micro-CHP which also supplied part of the heat demand. The analysis is based on the Whole Electricity System Investment Model (WeSIM), which takes into account EU’s and national energy and climate objectives up to 2050, and considers both the low and high penetration of micro-CHP.

2 Based on the European Commission’s EU Reference Scenario 2016. Energy, Transport and GHG Emissions. Trends to 2050.