Centrica moves into micro-CHP

Centrica has become the latest energy company to enter the race to develop micro-CHP units to replace domestic boilers.

It has taken a 9.9% stake in developer Ceres Power and announced it will provide funds to commercialise the company’s fuel cell powered unit. Fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into heat and electricity.

The companies hope to begin field trials of units in 2009 and launch them in 2011.

The units will cut CO2 emissions by half compared with a "standard" boiler, says Centrica, and cut 25% off the average household’s energy bills. It would not discuss the likely cost of a unit.

A spokesman said the move was partly motivated by the carbon emission reduction target (CERT). Under CERT, which will run from 2008-2011, energy suppliers have to meet targets for emission reductions among their household customers.

Eon is among the other energy companies looking at micro-CHP. It is contracted to buy micro-CHP units being developed by Whispergen (ENDS Report 386, p 13 ).

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