Micro Cogeneration: Towards a decentralized and sustainable German energy system

Micro cogeneration – the simultaneous production of heat and power in an individual building based on small energy conversion units such as Stirling and reciprocating engines or fuel cells – is expected to increase energy efficiency on the level of household energy supply. A large-scale introduction of micro CHP may radically change the electricity system and turn consumers into power producers. At the same time, micro CHP could, if supported by favorable economic and policy conditions, represent a considerable market segment, promoting downstream innovations such as "virtual power plants", altered consumer awareness or new household energy management systems. This potential has to be evaluated with respect to its sustainability in both economic and ecological terms.