New WINGAS bonus programs for CHP fuel cells
Kassel. WINGAS is supporting the development and use of fuel cell technology with two new bonus programs: Mikro-KWK-PartnerBonus (Micro-CHP Partner Bonus) and Brennstoffzellen-PartnerBonus-Plus (Fuel Cell Partner Bonus Plus). Mikro-KWK-Bonus promotes contracting as an energy service in end customer marketing. It is oriented toward the current "Mini-CHP Guideline" of the German government and basically corresponds to doubling of the bonuses under it for power efficiency and heat efficiency to up to 5,400 euros for fuel cells in the output performance range 0-1 kWel (kilowatts electric). In addition, WINGAS' new Brennstoffzellen-PartnerBonus-Plus program will provide funding for a total of ten fuel cell units up to an amount of 10,000 euros plus value-added tax per unit. The two programs are aimed at WINGAS' municipal utility customers who in turn wish to assist their own customers in using fuel cells in their heating basement.
"In a phase where combined heat and power is acknowledged by policymakers to make a particular contribution to the energy shift, we from the industry would like to send out another clear signal of our commitment to this innovative and powerful technology," is how Ludwig Möhring, the WINGAS Managing Director responsible for Sales, explains the initiative for fuel cell units. Thanks to its high efficiency and related potential to reduce CO2, the fuel cell could make a major contribution to the energy shift.
The German government's objective spells out just how important CO2 reductions in the heat market can be: It wants to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared with the level in 1990. According to the "Climate Protection Action Program 2020" that was presented in December, however, the CO2 target would be missed by around five to eight percent if there are no further measures. As Möhring notes: "To achieve this reduction target, it's therefore also necessary to cut CO2 emissions in the heat market, where around one-third of emissions are produced. In particular highly efficient technologies in domestic power generation can make a major contribution."
Especially great potential is offered by units that generate heat and electricity at the same time, what are termed micro-CHP units. "Such systems are ideal if they not only have a high overall efficiency, but also a high level of electrical efficiency," states Detlef Mirsch, Head of Technical Services at WINGAS. "One attractive solution is fuel cell units that have levels of electrical efficiency of more than 35 percent and, in the case of special concepts for the units, even more than 50 percent. And an impressive overall efficiency of around 90 percent also speak for themselves." In detached or two-family houses, for example, they generate a large degree of electricity for domestic requirements and, in conjunction with an additional burner, ensure that their entire heat needs are generated. The systems can also be used ideally in the small and medium-sized commercial sector.
The costs of a fuel cell with an output performance of 0.75 to around 1.5 kWel, including installation, are currently around 25,000 to 30,000 euros. However, some federal states grant special assistance for fuel cell CHP technologies above and beyond the allowances under the Mini-CHP Guideline and so make it even more interesting for private customers as well. "WINGAS has offered its municipal utilities various bonus programs for some years now," says Detlef Mirsch. "Municipal utilities that procure natural gas from WINGAS in the year of commissioning can submit applications."