On Wednesday, 6th June, COGEN Europe’s Annual Conference “The Power of Heat” hosted the event  Local energy revolution – Powered by the people, featured as an official Energy Day of the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2018 (EUSEW 2018), the most important European conference dedicated to sustainable energy policy issues.

The focus of the session was on on-site energy generation and consumption. Local, efficient and renewable energy solutions have the power to put energy consumers at the centre of the energy transition, allowing them to produce and consume their own clean and affordable heat and electricity.

The event was opened with a keynote speech by Kathleen Van Brempt, Member of the European Parliament, Socialists and Democrats, who stressed the importance of a just transition to a low-carbon energy system, thus empowering consumers and fighting energy poverty. In this context, it will be key that all Europeans have access to innovative decentralised energy solutions like micro-Cogeneration.

Jeremy Harrison, Principal Analyst at Delta-ee provided a comprehensive overview of distributed and efficient solutions on the market today and highlighted  that a mix of technologies and energy sources, rather than silver bullet solutions, will be essential for cost-effective transition and long-term solution.

The need for sector coupling and collaboration between different players was indeed at the centre of the panel debate, moderated by Diarmaid Williams, Editor for Decentralized Energy. Representatives of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU), of the heat pumps (EHPA), PVs (SolarPower Europe), and Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration (COGEN Europe) industries, and of the building sector (BPIE) provided valuable contributions to the discussion.

The main take-home message for the audience is the  is that the energy transition allow for an increasing role for distributed generation in an integrated energy system across electricity, heat and gas networks. Combined with smart grids, demand response and end use efficiency improvements, all the available decentralised energy solutions together will enable a flexible, decarbonised and cost-effective energy system, making the consumers the active beneficiary of the energy transition.

The PACE project supports the move of fuel cell micro-CHP towards mass commercialisation after 2020.  Together with other sustainable energy solutions, fuel cell micro-CHP systems will lead the way towards a more flexible, efficient and increasingly decarbonised future energy system. .

The event welcomed more than 100 participants representing the wider energy community and was complemented by a micro-Cogeneration exhibition,  showcasing   different life-size micro-CHP systems (Fuel Cell micro-CHPs, Stirling micro-CHP, ICE micro-CHPs, micro-gas turbine CHP).