Brussels, 9 April 2019


The European Commission announced today the completion of the Energy Union in its Fourth State of the Energy Union Communication. In this document, COGEN Europe is concerned by the lack of focus on energy efficiency in the heating and power generation sector to ensure the Energy Union is putting us on track to achieving our Paris climate goals. As energy efficiency is a prerequisite for decarbonising our economy, increasing renewable energy uptake and integration, as well as addressing energy poverty and fostering industrial competitiveness, COGEN Europe calls upon the Commission and Member States to increase efforts to unlock the identified energy efficiency potential.

In its Fourth State of the Energy Union, published today, the European Commission recognises that the continued increase in energy consumption between 2014 – 2017 puts the achievement of the 2020 energy efficiency target at risk. What is more, the latest Eurostat data points to a greater gap in reaching our energy efficiency 2020 objective for primary energy than final energy1. This suggests that there is significant untapped potential for more energy efficiency in generation, transmission and distribution.

Hans Korteweg, Managing Director of COGEN Europe, reacted to the publication of the State of the Energy Union: “The upward trend in primary energy consumption does not only put us at risk of not reaching the 2020 energy efficiency target, but it can have a domino effect on our decarbonisation and renewable energy efforts for 2030 and by 2050. Applying energy efficiency across the entire energy system, for both generation and demand, as well as renewable energy sources, is key to deliver a resilient, sustainable and affordable energy system.”

COGEN Europe’s Annual Snapshot Survey indicates that Member States have insufficiently assessed and fostered the uptake of supply side efficiency, particularly on high-efficiency cogeneration. Despite the lack of ambition on this energy efficiency dimension, EU project CODE2 estimates that there is economic potential for high-efficiency cogeneration shares to double compared to today, contributing 15% towards EU’s energy efficiency target and 23% towards the CO2 target in 2030.2

Hans Korteweg further commented: “So far the national approaches on high-efficiency cogeneration have been toothless, merely keeping cogeneration stable despite the identified potential to double cogeneration by 2030 in the EU. The Commission and Member States must prioritise high-efficiency cogeneration as part of the newly established Task Force on energy efficiency, as well as to complete their Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans.”





  1. Eurostat, January 2019. Energy Savings Statistics
  2. CODE2, 2015. European Cogeneration Roadmap



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