The latest European Commission (EC) national energy statistics reveals that cogeneration continues to significantly contribute to European Union’s (EU) energy and climate objectives. Momentum must be kept to ensure Europe is on track to reaching 2020 and 2030 milestones on the pathway to a carbon neutral economy by 2050, with cogeneration as a key solution.


The European Commission published on 18 July its latest national energy statistics, including European Union wide and national cogeneration (also known as CHP) data for 2017. Across the EU, cogeneration grew year-on-year by 3.3% in generated electricity and by 1.7% in installed electrical capacity between 2016 and 2017, reaching 371.7 TWh and 122 GW respectively. Heat capacity and heat generation increased between 2016-2017 by 4.6% and 2.4% respectively. In terms of the cogeneration fuel mix, the growth in renewable cogeneration share (by 4.9 percentage points) is the most significant year-on-year development, with renewable and waste based cogeneration accounting for 27.9% in total fuel input to cogeneration installations. Eurostat reports growth in generation between 2016-2017 in key EU countries, including Germany (7.3%), France (11%), Spain (4.6%), Italy (1.1%), Belgium (2.5%) and the UK (9%).

The growth in cogeneration at EU level and across many Member States translates into key benefits in terms of energy savings, carbon emission reductions, industrial competitiveness, growth and jobs. Based on COGEN Europe’s estimates, cogeneration delivers today close to 630 TWh of primary energy savings and 280 million tons of CO2 reductions, equivalent to taking 61 million cars off the road across the EU. Based on these data, cogeneration contributes up to 15% and 24% towards EU’s energy efficiency and greenhouse gas 2020 targets.

This momentum must not be lost, as the EU lags behind reaching its 2020 energy efficiency target and Member States are currently discussing further ambition on carbon reductions by 2030 and beyond. To stay on track, Member States must prioritise energy efficiency first in their National Climate and Energy Plans, including supply side efficiency. This will require better accounting for the potential of cogeneration, estimated at 20% of total electricity production by 2030 (see CODE 2).

Read COGEN Europe's analysis of the current cogeneration market in the EU.

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