The world is changing. Europe is changing with it.
The challenge of climate change is stirring a wave of positive innovation around Europe. Exciting new ideas are emerging to improve our way of life. Supplying the energy needed by people and the economy, the energy sector has a key role to play in driving this change: we cannot afford to waste energy if we are to successfully move to a clean, reliable and affordable future energy system.
As Europe moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shifts to a sustainable society, it is leading the way in building the future energy system. The EU has set ambitious energy and climate change objectives to ensure that Europe relies on secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy, putting consumers at the centre while boosting competitiveness and growth.
The cogeneration sector is committed to the creation of a resilient, decentralised and carbon neutral European energy system by 2050 with cogeneration as its backbone, empowering European citizens and industry to generate their own efficient, reliable and affordable clean heat and power locally.
Achieving this vision will require more than doubling by 2050 the capacity of cogeneration in the EU energy mix as a central solution to deliver a net-zero emissions economy:
• bringing together heat, electricity and gas networks at local level,
• allowing the resource-efficient integration of substantial amounts of renewable energy,
• efficiently using energy sources such as biomass, low-carbon and renewable gases, including hydrogen, as well as geothermal, solar energy, waste heat and residual waste, while developing carbon capture and utilization solutions,
• complementing energy system electrification, by providing affordable energy when and where needed,
• and enabling a cost-effective energy transition towards a sustainable future, fostering local jobs and the global competitiveness of the EU economy,
• for citizens, small businesses, industry and local communities.
Cogeneration is a future proof, renewables-ready efficiency solution, which will enable an increasingly electrified, renewable and resilient energy system on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050.
• In today’s energy mix, increasing cogeneration uptake delivers significant emission reductions through primary energy savings, by displacing more polluting and less efficient generation. Further emission cuts will be possible by integrating more renewable energy sources.
o Renewable energy sources (RES) share in the cogeneration mix has increased from 10% to 30% between 2009 and 2018. Most of the RES used by cogeneration today is represented by biomass and residual municipal waste. This is likely to accelerate in the coming years while the decarbonisation of gas grids is the next step in greening cogeneration.
o Cogeneration will play a key role in supporting power grids and facilitating the further uptake of variable renewable electricity.
• By 2030, there is cost-effective potential for cogeneration to deliver 20% of electricity and 25% of heat highly efficiently using a range of increasingly renewable and low-carbon energy sources. Realising this potential could further reduce total inland energy consumption by 870TWh and additionally reduce CO2 emissions by 350 Mt in 2030.
Cogeneration: A Key Local Integration Solution
Our Vision of Cogeneration Pathway for Europe
Read our brochure of cogeneration’s role in the future energy system.
Read our Press Release unveiling our New Vision at our Annual Conference “The Power of heat” held on 5 & 6 June 2018.
Putting Energy Consumers at the Centre
Being user-led, cogeneration is a local and efficient solution, already playing a key role in enabling an increasingly distributed, integrated and sustainable energy system:
• many key industries use large cogeneration installations, from pulp and paper, aluminium, chemicals, ceramics, glass, textiles, food & drink to steel manufacturers
• some well-known and iconic buildings use cogeneration for their heat and electricity, including the Reichstag Building in Berlin and the European Commission headquarters in Brussels
• 90 million European households enjoy efficient heating thanks to cogeneration as part of their district heating network, while the electricity from cogeneration is also consumed locally
• over 100,000 active energy consumers like homes, hospitals and SMEs already self-generate their heat and power with on-site cogeneration
Cogeneration helps consumers and businesses to take control over their energy future by making them the active beneficiaries of an integrated energy system and rewarding them for the benefits they bring to the system.
The multiple benefits of cogeneration make it play a strong role today and that will grow in the future.
Imagine what cogeneration can do for the next generation.
The new vision was endorsed by COGEN Europe’s 56 members which comprises 13 national associations and 43 organisations spanning the entire energy value chain from technology manufacturers and energy service companies to industrial users and utilities. COGEN Europe believes that a reliable, affordable and climate-friendly energy system can be built with their collaborative efforts.