Parliamentary debate highlights the benefits that industrial CHP can bring to the EU economy
Cogeneration in industry already saves Europe around 15 million Toe1 of energy imports each year. In a dinner debate held at the European Parliament today the cogeneration sector called for a) recognition of the economic role of energy efficiency and CHP in these sectors and b) the need for action to maintain the CHP investments to ready these sectors to take advantage of the economic recovery when it comes.
A more business aware approach in EU policies is needed as industries are operating in very tough market conditions and a sound industrial base is the best remedy for Europe to get out of the current economic crisis. For the CHP sector this translates into the maintenance and upgrade of the existing CHP fleet, particularly in this poor economic climate.
A large share of heat in industries cannot be replaced by low carbon electricity from the grid in the foreseeable future and CHP is one of the best and only available solutions. However, due to pressure from the wider power agenda developments industrial CHP operators are finding it difficult to maintain their high efficiency mode and be competitive on the electricity market. A pragmatic and a more business aware approach from the Commission's services and EU Member States is needed to maintain the hard won progress on CHP in industry.
This COGEN Europe dinner debate at the European Parliament brought together representatives of the food, paper and energy supply sectors, all using cogeneration to deliver a high efficiency performance in their business. MEP Sean Kelly, hosting the debate, said “We heard positive accounts from major industrial sectors that presented their business reasons for choosing cogeneration. The debate also showed that there is an urgent need to increasingly support industries in their investment in energy efficiency. This will help speed up the recovery from the current economic crisis and position the industries ready to take advantage of the recovery”.
1) Toe: Tonne of oil equivalent
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Cogeneration (also known as CHP or Combined Heat and Power) is the simultaneous production of heat and electricity. 11% of Europe’s electricity and associated heat requirements today are produced using this proven energy efficiency principle. The estimated growth potential for cogeneration is a further 110-120 GWe 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 energy savings and substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. When seriously supported, as in Denmark, CHP has the potential to increase the energy production and transformation system overall efficiency from a bare 33% (EU average) up to 65%. Realising the potential of cogeneration in Europe will contribute significantly to reaching the strategic climate and energy goals, such as security of supply, energy efficiency and reduction of emissions.
About COGEN Europe:
COGEN Europe is the European association for the promotion of cogeneration. We represent 70 organisations which are National COGEN Associations, manufacturers, users, utilities and service companies. Currently around 100,000 Europeans are employed in the cogeneration sector. More info on www.cogeneurope.eu