The European Commission (EC) published on 28 September its Recommendation and Guidelines on Energy Efficiency First (EE1st) whose objective is to support European Union (EU) Member States in implementing and operationalising EE1st in planning processes and investment decisions.
EE1st guidelines and recommendations represent a crucial instrument to assist Member States in following an integrated approach to energy systems with the objective to facilitate and foster the implementation of the Clean Energy Package and to prepare the ground for reaching the ambitions of the Fit for 55 Package. EE1st guidelines emphasise the necessity that all Member States integrate energy efficiency measures across the whole energy value chain from energy conversion, transmission and distribution through to final consumption.
Hans Korteweg, COGEN Europe Managing Director, commented on the EE1st initiative: “EE1st will be key in delivering net-zero emissions at lowest cost for consumers and our economies. Energy efficiency must be optimised across integrated energy systems, for all sectors and across all energy carriers. COGEN Europe welcomes the guidance and calls on Member States, local authorities and industry to step up their efforts on EE1st.”
Combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration is referred to as an enabler of the EE1st ambitions. According to the guidelines, CHP should be used as an alternative in cost-benefit analysis over less cost- and energy-efficient solutions. Furthermore, hydrogen (H2) should also be taken into account in combination with efficient supply solutions such as CHP, DHC but also micro-CHP at building level. On top of that, the guidelines stress the role of CHP in terms of providing flexibility to the energy system.
Hans Korteweg added: “The role of cogeneration in delivering EE1st is unequivocal. CHP already supplies 12% of EU’s electricity and 14% of its heat, saving more than 30 Mtoe of energy in industry, buildings and district heating. Moving towards higher climate ambition in 2030 on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050, further uptake of CHP is needed to provide energy resiliency and efficiency, complementing electrification in an increasingly renewable energy system”.