Abstract

Renewable energy penetration is growing, due to the target of greenhouse-gas-emission reduction, even though fossil fuel-based technologies are still necessary in the current energy market scenario to provide reliable back-up power to stabilize the grid. Nevertheless, currently, an investment in such a kind of power plant might not be profitable enough, since some energy policies have led to a general decrease of both the average price of electricity and its variability; moreover, in several countries negative prices are reached on some sunny or windy days. Within this context, Combined Heat and Power systems appear not just as a fuel-efficient way to fulfill local thermal demand, but also as a sustainable way to maintain installed capacity able to support electricity grid reliability. Innovative solutions to increase both the efficiency and flexibility of those power plants, as well as careful evaluations of the economic context, are essential to ensure the sustainability of the economic investment in a fast-paced changing energy field. This study aims to evaluate the economic viability and environmental impact of an integrated solution of a cogenerative combined cycle gas turbine power plant with a flue gas condensing heat pump. Considering capital expenditure, heat demand, electricity price and its fluctuations during the whole system life, the sustainability of the investment is evaluated taking into account the uncertainties of economic scenarios and benchmarked against the integration of a cogenerative combined cycle gas turbine power plant with a Heat-Only Boiler.

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