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CHP industry could fill a third of Europe’s 2020 primary energy savings gap


03 Mar 2011


EU Priorities 2020

On the eve of the publication of the European Energy Efficiency Plan and as the European Commission hunts for effective energy efficiency measures to plug the hole in its 2020 energy savings target, the CHP industry claims that it is sitting on one third of the solution. Highlighting the 35 Mtoe of CHP primary energy savings which Member States themselves have identified, COGEN Europe claims that CHP across renewable and fossil fuels should be a foundation principal of Europe’s approach to energy and calls for a strengthened policy frame work around CHP.

The EU will comprehensively miss its 20% savings target for 2020 with the current rate of progress. The latest Commission projections indicate that the EU is on track to achieve only 10% savings in 2020. This poor result reflects a combination of both slow implementation of energy efficiency legislation - including CHP in Member States - and an overall low priority given to energy efficiency in EU energy policy.

CHP, which is unique among energy efficiency technologies because it delivers well-defined primary energy savings and is relatively easy to mobilise, could provide more than 10% of the overall 2020 target, and almost a third of the currently estimated gap. However, the market has hardly developed in the past 5 years. Caught between partial market liberalisation and growth pressure from renewables, CHP has not received the promised support from EU policy structures. ETS is at best neutral, and at worst harmful to cogeneration, while Member States are now short of funds to stimulate sectors other than renewables.

Fiona Riddoch, Managing Director of COGEN Europe said “faced with a resource constrained future, cogeneration is one of the most useful habits that Europe could learn. Whether the fuel is renewable or fossil it must be used efficiently if we are to act sustainably, and the sooner we start thinking this way the healthier our economy will be as a whole.“ EU Member States, reporting under the CHP Directive, identified an additional economic CHP potential equivalent to 20% of Europe’s electricity needs and an equivalent quantity of heat for industry and buildings. Because there is a large indigenous CHP engineering base in Europe this is also a big boost to Europe’s economy and industry.

Dr Markus Tacke, CEO Siemens sees a big opportunity for industry in energy efficiency. “As a supplier of CHP equipment, Siemens is naturally interested to see this sector grow. Europe has a lot of indigenous engineering skills and project experience with CHP and we see energy efficiency as key area for growth in the future.” These and other topics will be discussed at the 17th COGEN Europe Annual Conference that will take place on Thursday 24 March in Brussels. More information on the conference (programme and registration) can be found at:


For more information please contact:
Dr Fiona Riddoch, Managing Director
Tel: +32 2 772 8290

Fax: + 32 2 772 5044


Stefan Craenen, Communications Manager

Tel: +32 2 772 8290

Fax: + 32 2 772 5044

About cogeneration:
Cogeneration (also known as CHP or Combined Heat and Power) is the simultaneous production of heat and electricity. 11% of Europe’s electricity and heat requirements today are produced using this proven energy efficiency technology. The estimated growth potential is for a further 120 GWe of cogeneration which will lead to an improved environment and greater economic competitiveness in Europe. Cogeneration units can be found in different sizes and applications: industry, households and tertiary sector and spans applications with capacities ranging from below 1kw to hundreds of Megawatts. It is a highly efficient energy solution that delivers substantial reductions in CO2 emissions and can be a large contributor to delivering the targets of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change for Europe. In EU Member States where cogeneration has been seriously supported as in Denmark their electricity supply system operates at 65% efficiency overall compared to the current EU average of an unacceptable 33% efficiency overall. Cogeneration substantially contributes to reaching strategic climate and energy goals, such as security of supply, energy efficiency and reduction of emissions. More info on

About CODE:
The Cogeneration Observatory and Dissemination Europe Project (CODE) is a 30month project to monitor the implementation of the CHP Directive across the European Union. The project is led by COGEN Europe and is partly funded by the European Commission under the Intelligent Energy Europe programme. More info on

The European association for the promotion of cogeneration
Avenue des Arts 3-4-5 · B-1210 Brussels · Belgium
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