Europe’s Cogeneration Directive up for revision

The European Commission is considering combining a revised version of the 2004 Cogeneration Directive with the Energy Services Directive to create a new Energy Saving Directive, according to the Commission’s Marie Donnelly, speaking at the annual COGEN Europe conference in Brussels yesterday.
Implementation of the original Directive has been slow and it has not had the impact it might have done, largely because of inaction Member States, the conference heard.
Indeed many national markets for large-scale cogeneration have been very quiet for some years, while the CHP for buildings sector has been healthier.
However, the crucial importance of heat within European energy markets is now better understood and a revised Directive which allied cogeneration to the wider energy efficiency effort could be more effective, said Donnelly.
The revised Directive would address the requirement to build CHP plants where local heat loads exist; priority connection for CHP plants to power networks; and a standardized system of reporting of CHP data by Member States.
One of the main barriers to cogeneration failing to reach its economic potential in Europe is weak and short-term support measures, said Markus Tacke from Siemens, speaking at the same event.
Stronger support measures are needed to allow CHP to compete with existing coal and nuclear generating plant which has already had its capital costs written-off, and the heavily-subsidized renewable energy sector.
The conference highlighted the significant role which cogeneration already plays in Europe’s energy mix.
Today around 11% of Europe’s delivered electricity is generated in cogeneration mode in plants ranging from industrial to domestic in scale.
However, COGEN Europe wants Europe to give more priority to cogeneration in meeting its 2020 energy and climate targets, and to make cogeneration a fundamental element of energy strategy to 2050.
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