The road towards cogeneration is wide open, though you need to be aware how demanding it is to use the by-product of a cogeneration system successfully: heat.
The Ministerial Decree of July 6 2012 envisions a recognition called CAR (high-efficiency cogeneration) for heat self consumption. In farming, heat can be used to heat stables or greenhouses, drying systems, domestic hot water production.
The greenhouse is only an opportunity for those who are aware of undertaking not one activity (cogeneration alone) but rather two: cogeneration and greenhouse growing. It is not enough to demonstrate to use heat: greenhouses need to be productive. We know that GSE is currently engaged in performing very strict checks on “unproductive” photovoltaic greenhouses, often suspending or revoking the Energy Account incentive. It would come as no surprise to discover that uncultivated but heated greenhouses are rewarded, perhaps even in summer.
Let’s start by saying that a greenhouse demands heat in winter, and it does so with extreme discontinuity, while it demands cooling in summer. On the other hand the cogenerator produces heat continuously throughout the year, at least 8000 hours/year. The following graph depicts this difficult overlapping between greenhouse and co-generator utility with an evident simplification.
It is easy to understand that cogeneration heat, fully inconsistent with the demand, is first off difficult to exploit: there is too much when not needed and not enough when required.