29 June 2022
COGEN Europe, the European Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration, welcomes the Energy Council’s commitment to reinforcing the role of high-efficiency cogeneration in the framework of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), but regrets that the Council is proposing to de-prioritise system efficiency by not requiring EU Member States to set national targets for primary energy savings.
COGEN Europe has reviewed the negotiating positions (general approaches) that were adopted by Ministers from the national governments of the EU Member States during the Energy Council meeting on Monday (27 June 2022) (see Press Release), regarding the revision of EU Directives that relate to energy efficiency (EED) and renewable energy sources (RED) under the umbrella of the 'Fit for 55' package and the European Green Deal.
The association, which is the cross-sectoral voice of the European cogeneration industry, welcomes the fact that the Energy Council recognises the role of high-efficiency cogeneration in delivering significant energy savings – both in industry and in district heating and cooling networks. However, COGEN Europe regrets the Ministers’ decision to focus on final energy use rather than primary energy consumption when it comes to setting energy efficiency targets at both European and national levels.
"Given the ongoing energy price crisis and the need to reduce our use of fossil fuels in the context of the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU plan, it is now more important than ever to stop wasting valuable energy," says Hans Korteweg, Managing Director of COGEN Europe. "Enhancing energy efficiency is essential for reducing emissions and keeping energy costs under control, both for households and for businesses."
"The revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive is an opportunity to pave the way for significant efficiency gains across the entire energy value chain, minimising energy losses in energy conversion, transmission, distribution and use," continued Mr Korteweg.
"The EU should prioritise primary energy savings, which encompass the prevention of losses in generation and transmission, as well as reductions in final energy use. Unfortunately, the Council’s general approach on the EED recast seems to contradict the logic of system efficiency, as it proposes indicative national targets in relation to final energy savings but only optional targets for reducing primary energy consumption. Setting targets only for final energy use could mean that Member States pay less attention to preventing losses that happen before energy reaches the consumer, which could potentially lead to further increases in energy prices."
"We welcome the recognition that high-efficiency cogeneration plays a positive role in the context of efficient district heating, and we support incentives to encourage the uptake and efficient use of renewable energy sources in industry. We are calling on the EU to also acknowledge the role of decentralised micro-cogeneration, including stationary fuel cells, as an efficient energy solution which contributes to a more flexible and resilient energy system."
The European Parliament has yet to adopt its position on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). On 13 July, members of the Parliament’s Industry, Research & Energy (ITRE) Committee are expected to vote on a draft report prepared by Niels Fuglsang MEP (S&D, Denmark). The plenary vote on the EED (recast) is planned to take place in Strasbourg during the week beginning 12 September 2022. Trilogue negotiations between the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the EU are expected to start before the end of 2022 (during the Czech Presidency of the Council).