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Cogeneration as the foundation of Europe's 2050 low carbon energy policy


01 Dec 2010



COGEN Europe projections show that cogeneration is a foundation element in any scenario leading to a decarbonised energy sector for Europe

Cogeneration is a fundamental part of the EU’s energy efficiency strategy, supported by the Cogeneration Directive 2004/08/EC. As a low carbon, high efficiency solution for electricity and heat supply with tens of thousands of installations across Europe, cogeneration is already saving Europe a minimum of 35 Mtoe a year while providing 11% of its electricity and heat. Cogeneration is a key technology for industry allowing companies to be competitive and decarbonise industrial heat now and for the foreseeable future.

COGEN Europe has made the first industry projection focusing attention on the role of cogeneration out to 2050. With a suitable policy framework, cogeneration is projected to take a foundation role through to 2030 and provide ongoing efficiency and sustainability advantages as the energy mix changes to less carbonated sources through to 2050. Key elements in the ‘Cogeneration as the foundation of Europe’s 2050 low carbon energy policy’ are:

  • Cogeneration will be saving a minimum of 70 Mtoe of primary energy per year by 2030 (and 80 Mtoe by 2050).
  • Cogeneration will be contributing 170 million tonnes CO2 savings every year to Europe by 2030.
  • Efficient cogeneration will increase the sustainability of biofuels with 29% of cogeneration on biomass in 2030 and 44% by 2050.
  • Over the period 2010-2030, cogeneration is key in forcing down the emissions from the fossil sector by saving primary energy.
  • - Cogeneration can contribute a total of at least 900 Mtoe primary energy savings by 2030. Cogeneration is the only viable CO2 reduction improvement for industrial processes until CCS is available (in 2030 at the earliest).

MEP Fiona Hall (ALDE, United Kingdom) says that “At a time when we need to greatly improve the energy efficiency of Europe's energy system, it is important that we focus on the measures like cogeneration that really can deliver energy saving results. In their reporting on potential for cogeneration, Member States have uncovered huge possibilities for energy saving. We need to move now to the "How" of delivering that." COGEN Europe believes that the first move should come in the form of an ambitious review of the Cogeneration Directive which should help unlock the tremendous techno-economic potential identified by the EU Member States.


For more information please contact:

Fiona Riddoch, Managing Director
Tel: +32 2 772 8290
Fax: + 32 2 772 5044

Stefan Craenen, Communication Manager
Tel: +32 2 772 8290
Fax: + 32 2 772 5044

About cogeneration:

Cogeneration is the most efficient way to deliver heating, cooling and electricity. It is based on the simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy, both of which are used. The central and most fundamental principle of cogeneration is that, in order to maximise the many benefits that arise from it, systems should be based according to the heat demand of the application.

About COGEN Europe:

COGEN Europe is the European Trade Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration. Its principal goal is to work towards the wider use of cogeneration in Europe for a sustainable energy future. COGEN Europe was created in 1993 to reflect the clear need for greater co-operative efforts at a European level to realise the full potential for cogeneration.
COGEN Europe is promoting the widespread development of cogeneration in Europe and world-wide. To achieve this goal, COGEN Europe is working at the EU level and with Member States to develop sustainable energy policies and remove unnecessary barriers to its implementation. COGEN Europe’s Membership includes more than 70 power companies, national cogeneration associations, suppliers and other organisations involved in cogeneration in 30 countries. More on