François Paquet, public affairs manager of COGEN Europe, was interviewed by e7, the “Quotidiano Energia” weekly newspaper, to talk about energy efficiency and emission reduction in the context of the European Green deal. Below is an excerpt from the interview.
Looking at the Green deal what could be the role of the cogeneration industry?
The European Green deal aims at making Europe carbon neutral by 2050 and cogeneration is one of the key solutions to achieve this ambition as it allows to produce electricity and heat with less energy and therefore can contribute significantly to achieving zero emissions targets. In addition, it allows to generate energy very economically and will therefore be an indispensable tool to contain the costs of the transition.
Are EU policies sufficient to increase and improve the implementation of cogeneration in industry?
We need clear EU policies which establish favourable measures for renewable energy and energy efficiency, including cogeneration at all levels, in private homes, cities, public buildings and industry. There is a lack of stable support schemes and the forthcoming Green Deal legislation should address this issue. We also believe that regulation should not consider gas, heat and electricity as separate elements but as a whole.
Are there countries that are better than others at implementing such initiatives or that have developed specific exportable best practices?
Germany and Belgium. The former had a clear ambition to support this solution together with renewable energies such as wind power. In addition, there are support plans such as incentive tariffs or investment loans. These support schemes are also available in Belgium, where we see an increase in installed cogeneration capacity, particularly in domestic and commercial applications.
Can you give us an example of the strengths and weaknesses of cogeneration?
• increased competitiveness for companies;
• efficiency which translates into low CO2 emissions and low fuel costs;
• flexibility, allowing citizens and businesses to take control of their energy sources (to have the energy they need, when they need it) and to be a part of the solutions towards a more sustainable world;
• it is a technology ready for the fuels of the future;
• it integrates into the energy system.
• the initial costs are slightly higher than with power-only or heat-only solutions;
• there is a lack of awareness concerning the benefits of this technology.
How could the EU best support you?
In order to increase the competitiveness of the economy and reduce the energy transition costs, we need a focus on how to establish an ambitious, favourable and stable legislation for energy efficiency and renewable energy, not replacing one with the other.
Read full article in Italian HERE