German chemical industry welcomes decision on CHP legislation

The head of the union representing the German chemical industry (VCI) has welcomed the decision by the government to amend the country’s CHP (Combined Heat and Power) Act, KWK-Gesetz.

CHP, a VCI chairperson told COSPP, is ‘the most important energy production technology in the chemical industry’ and the decision of the Bundestag on Friday to extend support for industrial CHP plants, under the amendment of the act, has been greeted with relief.

According to VCI director-general Utz Tillmann, the extension of the legislation to 2022 enhances planning and investment security for companies.
VCI, Utz Tillmann
Tillmann also sees CHP as making an important contribution to the energy transition (Energiewende) in Germany saying, “An equal treatment of industrial and municipal plants could have further intensified the climate protection effect.”

The VCI director-general also highlighted the importance of exempting industrial self-generation in CHP plants from the EEG charge (EEG = German Renewable Energy Act). The European Commission wants this exemption to be reviewed by the end of 2017.

Tillmann said. “When that date was decided, the federal government underlined its intention to continue advocating a permanent status of the exemption. I assume that the German government will take a stance to this effect vis-à-vis the Commission.”

Spokesperson for the VCI, Jurgen Udwari, told COSPP, “Combined heat and power is the most important energy production technology in the chemical industry. Our plants cover approximately 90% of our heat requirement and roughly one fourth of our electricity demand.

“We produce 16 TWh but, out of this total, we only use 12-13 TWh ourselves”. Due to high gas prices, CHP plants invariably work on the edge of economic efficiency. Without the possibility of future support, some companies are most likely to give up investments in maintaining and modernizing the plants,” he added.

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