Mannheim, December 11, 2015
The German Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG), which has been in force since 2002, serves the preservation, modernization, and development combined heat and power generation. The amended KWKG is to enter into force as of January 1, 2016. Its objective is to increase the power produced from combined heat and power generation from the current figure of 18 percent to 25 percent. Similar to the concept of the German Renewable Energies Act (EEG), the subsidy (or feed-in tariff) that operators of certified CHP plants are to receive will be allocated per kWh of power consumed.
A closer investigation of the amended law delivers a clear result: The "Potential and cost-benefit analysis of the possible application of combined heat and power generation (implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive) and evaluation of the KWKG in 2014" shows that under the current framework conditions, most CHP plants for public supply can no longer be run profitably. Many natural gas-fired plants are presently out of operation, and only coal-fired plants are currently achieving a positive margin contribution. Though the statistics of new, modernized and retrofitted CHP plants licensed by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) after the release of the KWKG indicate an increase of licensed plants by about 500 MW to more than 1,000 MW, more than half of the licenses in 2013 involve modernization measures.
MWM CHP units are designed for the electrical output range from 400 to 4,500 kW. They rely entirely on highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) generation. Apart from conventional natural gas, the plants also run on biogas, sewage gas, landfill gas, and mine gas.