Energy Ireland, in partnership with Gas Networks Ireland, is organising the Irish CHP Conference, a major conference focusing on the economic and environmental benefits of combined heat and power (also known as CHP or cogeneration) for businesses and organisations across all sectors. The conference, which is free to attend, takes place on Tuesday 11 October in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, close to Dublin Airport. Delegates will hear from experienced energy and environmental managers who will set out how CHP has significantly reduced their energy costs and improved their business competitiveness, while at the same time improving their organisation's environmental credentials. CHP is the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat from a primary fuel such as natural gas. Electricity is generated on site by using natural gas to drive an alternator connected to the engine. The heat from the exhaust fumes generated by the engine is harvested to provide heating and hot water for buildings, to supply district heating systems or process heat for industry (e.g. dairy processing plants, pharmaceutical operations). Some of the thermal energy can also be used to provide cooling and air conditioning through the use of absorption chiller technologies (known as ‘trigeneration’). CHP technology is mature and well proven and is expected to play an important role in Ireland’s transition to a lower carbon energy mix. This technology, combined with the introduction of renewable gas (biomethane) into Ireland’s energy mix, will help Ireland to reach our 2020 national and EU targets on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Benefits of CHP:

  • Significant reduction in energy costs
  • Short project payback times achievable
  • CO2 emissions reduced
  • Lower carbon tax
  • Security and continuity of power supply
  • Conservation of valuable fuel resources

Financial and environmental benefits

Due to potential inefficiencies in centralised electricity generation and transportation, plus the resulting cost of electricity from energy suppliers, significant financial savings can be made by generating electricity on site to meet local requirements. Using cogeneration to provide both heat and electricity on site allows a business to reduce overall energy costs resulting in a significant competitive and productivity advantage. This is particularly true in Ireland, where electricity prices for large industrial and commercial customers are among some of the highest in Europe and where the price of natural gas has reduced dramatically over the past 12-18 months. In conventional centralised electricity generation, much of the input energy (over 50%) is lost to the atmosphere as waste heat. Distributed electricity generation, through the installation of suitably designed CHP systems, makes use of almost all of the heat generated in the generation process locally – in 2014, the useful heat output was estimated at 98% of the total heat generated by CHP plants. The efficiency of a CHP plant can exceed 90% if designed and installed correctly, and is typically 20-25% higher than the combined efficiency of heat-only boilers and conventional power stations. The use of CHP in 2014 avoided 382,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions when compared with conventional electricity and heat production. CHP therefore has the potential to be an economic means of improving the efficiency of energy supply as well as achieving environmental targets for emissions reductions, which is becoming an increasingly important consideration for all businesses. CHP is an important element of the transition to a diverse and low carbon energy mix. In practice, CHP is suitable for a wide range of applications, but is particularly appropriate as an energy solution where there is a high demand for both electricity and heat or hot water.

CHP in Europe and Ireland

At a European level, CHP is embedded across many sectors including food, distilling, agriculture, ceramics, chemicals, refining and paper, and in the supply chain of many more industries including packaging, food processing and the automotive sector. Here in Ireland, the levels of CHP applications are low with just 7.4% of Ireland’s electricity and 6.4% of the country’s heat demand coming from CHP installations in 2014 (the European figure in 2011 was 11%). A large proportion of these CHP units are within the services sector, including hotels and leisure centres. Within industry, the food and beverage sector also represents a major industry powered by CHP. Hospitals and nursing homes are also particularly well suited to CHP, due to their high demand for electricity, heat and hot water. Who should attend? The conference will be relevant to anyone with an interest in CHP as an energy solution. This will include:
  • Energy and environmental managers (public and private sector)
  • Financial controllers
  • Purchasing/procurement managers
  • Policy makers
  • CHP developers
  • Consultants and advisors
  • Energy suppliers
  • Equipment suppliers
  • Financial and legal advisors
  • Engineering consultants
The conference will be of particular interest to energy/environment/facilities/technical managers with responsibility for buying and managing energy within industrial and commercial organisations, keen to learn more about how CHP can deliver significant cost and environmental savings. Make sure you don't miss the opportunity to attend and find out how CHP can benefit your organisation – secure your place now. Registration is free, but booking is required so contact us today. Secure your place at this conference to learn how CHP can benefit your organisation. Register online at or telephone +353 (0) 1 661 3755 **The conference is free to attend, but pre-registration is required**