Saturday, October 1

Cogeneration must be prepared for ‘green’ hydrogen and consume a minimum of energy itself

The Government will launch an auction of 351 megawatts in 2022, another of 442 megawatts in 2023 and 407 megawatts in 2024

The Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has taken out public information the framework of the calls to award a regulated remuneration to a total of 1,200 megawatts of cogeneration until 2024. After the first bid of 351 megawatts, which will be held next year, a second will be called in 2023, of 442 megawatts, and another in 2024, of 407 megawatts. The objective is for them to be operational in 2027 and among the conditions to participate in the contest stands out as novelty that the facilities, in addition to providing high efficiency, must be prepared to consume renewable hydrogen Y self-consumption a minimum of your electricity production.

With more than 5,500 megawatts of installed potency in Spain, cogeneration has a strong presence in the industry, where 92% is located, while the remaining 8% is in the tertiary and residential sector. The fuel mostly consumed by this type of plant is natural gas, which represents 84% ​​in electricity production and 86% in heat production, although there are also facilities with other fossil or renewable fuels.

The new auctions will prioritize biomass facilities, as well as those that involve the substitution of fossil fuels for less polluting alternatives to accelerate the energy transition process, and will not be able to exceed a maximum power of 50 megawatts –15 megawatts in non-peninsular systems– and will meet some savings levels sufficient primary energy to be considered of high efficiency or very high efficiency (these levels will be 10% for powers greater than 1 megawatt in the case of biomass, and 15% for the case of natural gas plants with more than 1 megawatt and 5% for the lesser ).

In addition, they will have to be prepared to consume at least 10% of renewable hydrogen mixed with your regular fuel and have a minimum level of self-consumption 30% electricity, individual or shared. In case of breaching this self-consumption ratio, the facilities will see their reduced operation remuneration and an additional 5% penalty will be applied to them. This 5% penalty will not be applied in those cases in which the companies have signed a long-term energy sales contract (more than five years), but the remuneration for the operation will be reduced.

Cogeneration plants that operate with natural gas will have a recognized 10-year regulatory useful life and those that operate with 20-year biomass and will have a reasonable profitability of 7.09% (value established for the second regulatory period 2020-2025).

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The sector has described these 1,200 megawatts as “insufficient” because in 2025 1,800 megawatts that are currently in operation will end their useful life and in 2030 another 2,600 megawatts, as defended by the employers They welcome and take Spain during the XVII Annual Congress of Cogeneration which was held in October. “The Germans quadruple us in cogeneration and the Italians double us, considering cogeneration a guarantee for their industrial competitiveness and decarbonisation,” they explained.

The Government will publish annually the details of the quotas for each range of power and type of installation, as well as the dates of the contests. As in the case of renewable energy auctions, each facility must submit a Strategic plan of impact evaluation with the initial estimates on local employment and the industrial value chain, as well as a definitive impact evaluation plan, which will include the level of compliance with the forecasts initially presented.

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