The energy company Lichtblick and the car manufacturer VW announced their worldwide energy partnership. They came up with a project which will be an all around advantage for all participants. VW will produce around 100.000 Cogeneration plants called “EcoBlue” which will be placed and networked in mainly multi-family households by Lichtblick by 2010. If everything works out as planed these cogeneration plants will provide as much electricity as two nuclear power plants.
The concept is that all cogeneration plants will act as one electricity shoal, the electricity will be bundled. The idea behind this shoal is to pitch in if there is a lack of energy provided by renewable energy sources (e.g. caused by adverse weather). Other than usual power plants like coal-burning our nuclear, the cogeneration plants can be switched on and off easily and fast and are therefore very efficient and environmentally friendly.
The VW engine and the use of heat and electricity will assure an energy efficiency of 92% this is two or three times as high as the one of usual power plants. Additional the cogeneration plants shall be run with regenerative biogas supporting the environmental friendliness and even making it climate neutral.
Besides the environmental aspect it is also lucrative for the consumers. There will be a onetime installation cost of 5000€ including the recycling of the old heater. The package includes an “EcoBlue” cogeneration plant, a heat storage tank, data- and electricity connections. The monthly costs will be average 15€. So the “EcoBlue” is very desirable for households which consume a lot of energy and, or want to get rid of their old heater.
Furthermore the project will turn Lichtblick into a more competitive player on the German energy market. Resulting in a advantage for the consumers other energy companies are already investing in their own cogeneration plants but couldn’t come up with a competitive concept.
VW uses the opportunity to maintain 300 jobs in a rather dark time for the automotive industry and makes a first step into other fields of investment.
All in all, the project will affect the environment, the energy market, the households and the automotive industry in only positive ways.
If you wanna know how a cogeneration plant works have a look: