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Cogeneration crucial in delivering the Fit for 55 Package

The European Commission published on 14 July 2021 the Fit fo 55 Package. The package includes increased targets for renewable energy, energy efficiency and emission reductions with the ambition to ensure a green, competitive and fair transition by 2030 and beyond. The main objective of the package mobilising all economy sectors is to deliver at least 55% GHG reductions by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels). According to COGEN EUROPE the proposal is sending the right signals for higher ambition but lacks a comprehensive roadmap of measures which would allow to achieve the foreseen targets in a cost-efficient manner. Even though the focus on energy efficiency is more important, there are still gaps concerning the reinforcement of system efficiency, supply side efficiency and security of supply at the lowest cost and lowest carbon for both both consumers and the economy as a whole, says COGEN EUROPE in its recent press release

The package is globally welcomed as it constitutes a solid basis for further discussion on the appropriate manners to trigger these ambitions in a cost-effective fashion. COGEN Europe points out that gaps remain concerning effective tools to enhance the availability and affordability of renewable energy for consumers, implement incentives for the efficient uptake of low-carbon and renewable energy sources but also promote security of supply through efficient system integration at local level.

Hans Korteweg, COGEN Europe Managing Director, commented on the Fit for 55 proposal by claiming: Climate change is maybe the largest challenge we will have to tackle. To increase ambition at the lowest cost for European citizens, SMEs and industry, we need all clean energy solutions working together for increased system integration at local level and efficient uptake of low-carbon and renewable energy sources. To be effective, the Fit for 55 Package must not cherry pick which efficient or renewable solutions should be promoted or available to consumers.

The CHP sector is cully committed to contribute to the creation of a resilient, decentralised, integrated and carbon neutral European energy system by 2050 with cogeneration acting as its backbone allowing both EU citizens and industry to generate their own efficient, clean, reliable and affordable heat and power locally. The CODE2 project (Cogeneration Observatory and Dissemination Europe) estimates that by 2030 there is a cost-effective potential for cogeneration to deliver 20% of electricity and 25% of heat in Europe in a highly efficient wayusing a range of increasingly renewable and low-carbon energy sources. Realising this potential could further reduce total inland energy consumption by 870 TWh and additionally reduce CO2 emissions by 350 Mt in 2030, equivalent to approximately 14% of the 55% 2030 climate target.

Hans Korteweg added: “Cogeneration is a future proof, renewables-ready efficiency solution, which will enable an increasingly electrified, renewable and resilient energy system on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050. The Fit for 55 Package should not miss the opportunity to unlock the multiple benefits of cogeneration for 2030 and beyond. This can be achieved by complementing ambitious targets with a broad range of implementing measures, recognising the role of cogeneration in district heating, industry and buildings, as well as for reducing system costs and supporting security of supply.

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