PRESS RELEASE



3 February 2022

In response to the European Commission’s latest proposal for a Complementary Delegated Act on energy-related activities (gas and nuclear), COGEN Europe welcomes the inclusion of high-efficiency cogeneration as a solution that contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation in the EU Taxonomy. However, the association is concerned that the inconsistent criteria applied to cogeneration in the Commission’s proposal could prove to be counterproductive.

The European Commission’s proposal for a Complementary Delegated Act (CDA) which would widen the EU Taxonomy to include activities involving natural gas and nuclear energy was presented in Brussels yesterday (2 February) by Commissioner Mairead McGuinness. The EU Member States and the European Parliament have 4 months (which could possibly be extended to 6 months) to scrutinise the Commission’s proposal and they also have the power to reject the proposed regulation.

"We welcome the fact that the European Commission is proposing to include high-efficiency cogeneration using natural gas – and, increasingly, renewable and low carbon gases – in the EU Taxonomy of activities contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation," said Hans Korteweg, Managing Director of COGEN Europe, speaking in Brussels. "This sends a positive signal to investors and to policy-makers that they should see cogeneration as an enabling technology for the cost-effective and efficient decarbonisation of our energy system."

"However, we are disappointed to see that the proposed regulation sets restrictive criteria for cogeneration operators in terms of sizing, location and operation, which go beyond ambitious emissions limits, energy efficiency objectives and targets for renewable energy uptake. Moreover, certain criteria are more stringent for cogeneration compared to power-only generation, which is unjustified and inconsistent with putting energy efficiency first."

"We hope that the Commission will find ways to create a favourable and robust framework for high-efficiency cogeneration as part of the EU Green Deal," continued Mr Korteweg. "Cogeneration operators already have an excellent record of delivering significant energy savings and emission reductions. But adding extra constraints and criteria that have not been properly assessed could mean that Europe risks missing out on the manifold benefits that come with cogeneration."

COGEN Europe insists that high-efficiency cogeneration or CHP (Combined Heat & Power) can provide significant and valuable benefits during the transition to a decarbonised energy system:

  • Delivering rapid reductions in CO2 emissions by supporting the phasing-out of coal and oil and complementing intermittent renewable energy sources (e.g. wind, solar);
  • Ensuring the most efficient use of natural gas (and other fuels, where they are available) by generating power and heating or cooling capacity in close proximity to end-users;
  • Providing power and heat or cooling capacity to households and businesses where and when they need it, responding to fluctuations in demand for power and heating/cooling;
  • Enabling the transition from fossil fuels to renewable and low-carbon gases such as biogas, biomethane and hydrogen – utilising the same infrastructure and equipment.

END

For more information, please see our Press Release of 4 January 2022: COGEN Europe calls for new EU Taxonomy rules to encourage investments in high-efficiency cogeneration

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