Publication: Research › Report – Annual report year: 2011
Micro-Combined Heat and Power systems may contribute to changing the energy system at the residential level. Being a part of a distributed generation system, the stationary fuel cells constitute a promising element in a potentially sustainable and environmentally friendly energy system. Fuel cell based microCHP will be able to contribute to an innovative system where the customer produces his own heat and partly his own electricity. Furthermore, stationary fuel cells as a part of a distributed generation system are also regarded as a potential to improve the national security of supply as well as increase the national competitiveness. The stationary fuel cell technology is still in a rather early stage of development and faces a long list of challenges and barriers of which some are linked directly to the technology through the need of cost decrease and reliability improvements. Others are linked to the political stage, where the necessary support schemes have to be in place in combination with guarantees that the political objectives for the future energy system does not change dramatically. One of the main challenges of the fuel cell technology is the efficiency while others are the cost as well as the reliability of the fuel cell. It is questionable if investors such as households or energy companies are willing to engage in the fuel cell technology before these conditions have improved. In order to assure actual market penetration of fuel cells, political objectives, which will contribute to assuring that the investors face long term planning perspectives and regulation in the field has to be clear and contribute to creating the market opportunities e.g. through investments in R&D. In this work package, we address the issues of necessary support schemes and the effect on the future energy system. If the single countries should opt to support stationary fuel cells, we find that in Denmark it would be promising to apply the net metering based support scheme for households with an electricity consumption exceeding the electricity production from the fuel cell. In France and Portugal the most promising support scheme is price premium when the fuel cell is run as a part of a virtual power plant. From a system perspective, it appears that it is more important which kind of energy system (represented by country) the FC’s are implemented in, rather than which operation strategy is used. In an energy system with lots of fossil fuel (Denmark and Portugal), the potential CO2 emission reductions are relatively large compared to an energy system dominated by e.g. fossil-free nuclear.
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