COGEN Europe summarizes the situation with European energy goals, strategies and the revised CHP directive (Information supplied by COGEN Europe, a European trade association that promotes cogeneration power technologies).
The EU energy and climate goals (20% reduction in CO2 emissions, 20% renewables in end-use energy and a reduction of 20% of primary energy use by 2020) have been incorporated into “Europe 2020,” the new economic strategy adopted by the European Council in June 2010. As part of this strategy, the flagship initiative “Resource-efficient Europe” aims, among other things, to decouple economic growth from the use of resources. The energy and climate objectives for 2020 now form an integral part of this strategy.
The wider use of the cogeneration principle contributes centrally to Europe achieving its energy efficiency and CO2 reduction targets. Hence, the next 12 months, which contain
increased focus on European energyefficiency policy through an action plan and new legislation, also involve scrutiny and revision of the policies around cogeneration.
Cogeneration was recognized by the EU in 2004 as having a fundamentally beneficial role in improving energy efficiency in Europe and was the focus of a specific Cogeneration Directive as a result. The Directive has two main thrusts. First, it sets out the fundamental definitions for high-efficiency cogeneration in the EU, establishing that a high-efficiency cogeneration plant will save a minimum of 10% primary energy compared to separate production and enabling cogeneration to gain aid and support from Member States within the state aid guidelines. Second, the Directive commits the 27 EU Member States to a succession of analysis, reporting and action, which when pursued will increase the use of cogeneration principle across a
wider range of economic and societal sectors.
COGEN Europe is leading a European project of independent stake-holders monitoring the Cogeneration Directive implementation by the EU Member States. The project, called
CODE (www.code-project.eu), is partly funded by the European Commission under the IEE program. CODE produced the first analysis of Member States’ reports on the potential of cogeneration in Europe to 2020. It was the first to reveal that, collectively, the 27 Member States identified 120 GWe of additional economic potential for CHP across Europe by 2020.
The Member States approached the analysis unconstrained apart from the high-efficiency definition of the Directive. Additionally, the project showed the considerable barriers that still exist to new cogeneration, largely around connection to the grid, and also the different commercial returns that can be expected in different Member States depending on the degree of energy market liberalization and the support mechanisms in place. Remarkably, all Member States have some support mechanism for cogeneration, however, few are effective.
Of those that are effective, Germany and Belgium set the benchmark for what is required for success, as both countries having successfully stimulated growth in cogeneration under their support schemes. The CODE project is now in its final phase and will develop a proposal for a European Cogeneration Roadmap for Europe to be published in June 2011. What is the role for cogeneration to 2050? 2010 saw the first modeling and projections of how Europe might move to a de-carbonized electricity supply for 2050. COGEN Europe published the industry’s own projections of the role of cogeneration to 2050 on Dec. 1, 2010. The report highlights the foundation role that the cogeneration principle can play in a resource-efficient Europe and, taking into account future projections in fuel mix to 2020, charts the expected growth of cogeneration including micro-CHP through to 2050.
What is clear is that cogeneration has a huge amount to offer in energy efficiency, CO2 reduction, innovation and jobs in the near and medium term. Moreover, it is one of the few realistic de-carbonization options open for hightemperature industrial heat. The drive to energy efficiency will be a leading theme of the next few years in energy policy, and rightly so.
Europe needs to be resource efficient in a time when budgets are being cut and unemployment is rising. The size of the energy-efficiency challenge was highlighted in November 2010 by DG Energy of the European Commission, which published its latest assessment of progress toward the 20% energy savings target for 2020. By its most recent projections, and taking into account all existing energy-efficiency legislation, Europe will achieve energy savings of only 9% by 2020 compared to its target of 20%. There has never been a better time for Member States to support cogeneration.
In November 2010 the EU published its new energy strategy “Energy 2020.” Echoing one of the main themes of the COGEN Europe report, “Cogeneration as the foundation of Europe’s 2050 low carbon energy policy,” the Energy 2020 strategy advocates a far more demand-oriented approach to energy thinking, putting the users at the heart of strategy rather than the suppliers. The new strategy puts energy efficiency as the first priority for energy policy in this time of economic recovery and energy and climate challenges. Within energy efficiency, cogeneration is highlighted as a principle that must be more strongly promoted. The options for cogeneration in new EU energy strategy will be extensively covered in the upcoming COGEN Europe Annual Conference on March 24, 2011, in Brussels, Belgium. For more information on this event, visit www.cogeneurope.eu.