14 July 2022
COGEN Europe welcomes the adoption of two important reports by members of the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE). These reports, both adopted yesterday (13 July 2022), set out the Parliament’s positions regarding the EU Directives on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which are being completely revised and updated on the basis of proposals that were published by the European Commission exactly one year ago (on 14 July 2021) in the framework of the so-called 'Fit for 55' package.
The ITRE Committee’s report on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) includes a proposal to raise the targets for reducing energy consumption in the EU: cutting primary energy consumption by 42.5% and final energy consumption by 40% (compared to a reference scenario) - with both of these targets to be reached in the current decade (i.e. by 2030).
In their report on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), members of the ITRE Committee confirmed their support for ensuring that by the year 2030, 45% of all the energy consumed in Europe will come from renewable energy sources, which is in line with the target laid down in the European Commission’s REPowerEU Plan. The Committee’s report on RED also addresses the need for more cross-border cooperation to expand renewable energy deployment, while recognising the local nature of renewable heating and cooling, as well as a sustainability requirements in relation to hydrogen and bio-energy.
"High efficiency cogeneration has a key role to play in helping to deliver the EU’s targets for energy efficiency and renewables uptake," says Hans Korteweg, Managing Director of COGEN Europe. "This is because cogeneration provides electricity together with heat, while using less primary energy than other technologies. Whether one is using natural gas or renewables like green hydrogen and biomethane, cogeneration technologies allow us to efficiently and flexibly deliver useful energy to households, district heating and industry – precisely where and when it is needed."
Responding to the ITRE Committee’s report on the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), Mr Korteweg says: "Ambitious targets for reducing both primary and final energy consumption will require the EU and its member states to implement the 'Energy Efficiency First' principle across the entire energy value chain and at system level. We welcome the reinforcement of local heat and cooling plans to reflect system adequacy, flexibility and the potential for high efficiency cogeneration."
COGEN Europe is calling on the EU institutions to recognise the positive role and potential of high efficiency cogeneration in district heating and cooling (DHC) networks. "The new EED must better recognise the role of cogeneration in the context of district heating, where it can flexibly complement intermittent renewables and electrification," says Mr Korteweg.
"COGEN Europe supports higher ambition on energy efficiency. However, this ambition must be applied to all sectors and fuels equally, including fossil fuels, irrespective of whether those fuels are being used on site or in a conventional power plant. In particular, we insist that innovative solutions like industrial cogeneration, micro-cogeneration and stationary fuel cells should continue to be recognised in the Energy Savings Obligation."
Responding to the ITRE Committee’s report on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), Mr Korteweg says: "We are pleased to see that ITRE Committee members have recognised the importance of energy efficiency and system resiliency, in order to support a rapid increase in the share of renewables. We believe that Europe should be moving towards a more integrated energy system that combines renewable energy sources like solar (PV) and wind with electrification and high efficiency cogeneration. By using the latest cogeneration solutions in industry, in buildings and in district heating networks, we can also facilitate a smooth switchover to thermal renewables, including renewable gases like green hydrogen and biomethane as they become more widely available and increasingly affordable."
The reports on EED and RED adopted by the ITRE Committee will be included on the agenda of the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg from 12 to 15 September, when both reports could potentially be amended before eventually being approved by the whole Parliament.