German CHP law facilitating combined cycle plants

The under-construction 595 MW Lausward combined cycle power plant (CCPP) in Dusseldorf, Germany may be the first of many such plants to come on stream in the country thanks to German CHP law.

Norbert Wenn, Director of Sales Support and Product Line Management at Siemens Siemens (NYSE: SI), was presenting at COGEN Europe last week in Brussels, and told Gas to Power Journal that, "the renewed German CHP law and incentive scheme has made a business case of the Lausward plant currently being built in Dusseldorf, which would have never happened had it been planned as a pure condensing plant."

The Siemens chief says that selling heat in addition to electricity has made new combined-cycle power plants economically feasible in Germany.
Mellach CCGT Austria
Siemens aims for a net efficiency of over 61 per cent at the plant, when it becomes operational in 2016.

Wenn believes that CCPPs, which also offer heating, provide strong economic potential for backing up the renewable power that is set to achieve greater penetration in Germany's energy mix over the coming years.

Mr Wenn emphasised to COGEN Europe’s audience that the German Energiewende is a transformative project which will take into account the energy triangle, a combination of affordability, sustainability and secure supply that informs investment decisions.

"CCPPs are ideal for supplying all of these elements, especially secure supply," he told Gas to Power adding that the impact of Germany’s accommodating CHP law can be judged by the experience of a similar CCP plant in its neighbouring country.

"The decision to build the Mellach plant (in Austria) was taken several years ago and today the plant faces the same boundary conditions as similar CHP plants across the border in Germany, where CCPPs suffer also from high gas prices based on long term delivery contracts. Consequently the Mellach plant is hardly running during the summer period and is unfortunately becoming expensive for the owner without similar support like in Germany."

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