EU gives go ahead to scheme facilitating Greek cogeneration

The European Commission has approved a Greek scheme to support electricity from high efficiency cogeneration and renewable sources.

It is yet another sign of the favourable status the technology as, after projects in Slovenia, Poland and Lithuania were also approved in recent months.

"The scheme will help Greece to reduce CO2 emissions, in line with EU energy and climate goals, without unduly distorting competition," the Commission said in a statement.
European Commission
The scheme includes a feed-in tariff for small installations and a premium on top of the market price for electricity for 20-25 years for larger installations.

The Commission said aid to larger installations had to be granted through competitive tenders to ensure energy is produced at a minimum cost for taxpayers. Greece will also partially open up the support scheme to foreign producers.

The Commission found that the Greek scheme promotes the integration of such electricity into the market, in line with the Commission’s 2014 Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy.

The scheme will help Greece to meet its 2020 target of producing 18% of its energy needs from renewable sources.

Cogeneration projects have been consistently approved by the European Commission in similar situations this year across Europe, as Brussels indicates a favour for the technology, as the bloc seeks to improve its energy efficiency capability.

Last year, the Commission presented a comprehensive Strategy on Heating & Cooling, acknowledging that, “CHP can produce significant energy and CO2 savings compared with separate generation of heat and power. It is used in industry and the services sector to save money and ensure a stable and reliable heat and electricity supply.”

“Combination with thermal storage increases the efficiency of CHP as heat production can be stored rather than curtailed if not needed at that moment. Many CHP technologies are capable of using renewable energy (geothermal, biogas), alternative fuels (e.g. hydrogen) and waste heat. Trigeneration should also be exploited to use the heat production for cooling in summer.”

The strategy document goes on to state, “The economic potential of cogeneration is not being exploited. The sector faces barriers such as the complex need to comply with both electricity and heat supply regulations. Smaller units face grid connection and grid access barriers, such as slow processes for granting permits and high charges. These regulatory and administrative barriers have not been fully addressed yet by Member States.”

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