29 September 2021

COGEN Europe welcomes the European Commission (EC) Recommendation and Guidelines on Energy Efficiency First (EE1st) principle published yesterday. The recommendation and guidelines are aimed at assisting European Union (EU) Member States to implement and operationalise EE1st in planning processes and investment decisions.

The EE1st guidelines are an important instrument to assist Member States in taking an integrated approach to energy systems, supporting the implementation of the Clean Energy Package and paving the way for further ambition in the upcoming Fit for 55 Package. The guidance and recommendations stress the need for Member States to apply energy efficiency across the entire energy value chain, from energy conversion, transmission, distribution to final consumption, as well as prioritise system efficiency.

Commenting on the EE1st publication, Hans Korteweg, COGEN Europe Managing Director, said: “EE1st will be key in delivering net-zero emissions at lowest cost for consumers and our economies. Energy efficiency must be optimised across integrated energy systems, for all sectors and across all energy carriers. COGEN Europe welcomes the guidance and calls on Member States, local authorities and industry to step up their efforts on EE1st.

Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), is recognised in the guidance as an enabler of the EE1st principle. High efficiency cogeneration must be used as an alternative in cost-benefit analysis over less efficient alternatives, complementing electrification. Hydrogen infrastructure must also be considered in conjunction with efficient supply solutions, including CHP and DHC as well as micro-CHP at building level. The role of CHP in providing flexibility to the energy system is also captured in the guidelines.

Hans Korteweg commented: “The role of cogeneration in delivering EE1st is unequivocal. CHP already supplies 12% of EU’s electricity and 14% of its heat, saving more than 30 Mtoe of energy in industry, buildings and district heating. Moving towards higher climate ambition in 2030 on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050, further uptake of CHP is needed to provide energy resiliency and efficiency, complementing electrification in an increasingly renewable energy system”.


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