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Hans Korteweg sheds light on the importance and potential of cogeneration.

COGEN Europe represents the European cogeneration sector, including 60 member organisations and national associations across Europe. Cogeneration, or combined heat and power (CHP), produces electricity and thermal energy at the same time, which provides an energy-efficient way to deliver heating, cooling and electricity. Here, COGEN Europe’s Managing Director, Hans Korteweg, sheds light on the importance and potential of cogeneration.


1.    Why is sustainable energy important for COGEN Europe?

Sustainable energy solutions, including energy efficiency measures, benefit the environment, health and competitiveness. Cogeneration’s efficient delivery of heating, cooling and electricity translates into significant CO2 emission reductions, a more robust electricity system, empowered consumers and higher competitiveness of European businesses.

Cogeneration saves between 15-40 % energy compared to the separate supply of electricity and heat from conventional power stations and boilers. Today, 15 % of the EU’s heat and 10.5 % of its electricity come from cogeneration, cutting European emissions by 200 million tonnes of CO2 per year and saving 400 TWh of primary energy today – equivalent to the total electricity use of Italy and The Netherlands.

Recent studies, such as the EU funded project CODE2, have shown that there is cost-effective potential for the share of cogeneration to double between now and 2030, for further energy savings and CO2 emission reductions. For this to be achieved, policy should incentivise energy savings across the whole energy value chain, promoting energy efficiency at the end user side, while improving generation efficiency and reducing grid losses. There is also scope to harness synergies between electricity, heat, gas grids, reducing energy consumption, cutting CO2 and greening all these networks for a cost-effective energy transition.


2.    What is COGEN Europe's vision for the energy transition?

COGEN Europe is committed to a more efficient, lower carbon and increasingly renewable energy system. As a representative of national cogeneration associations, cogeneration manufacturers and users, we advocate for the wider use of cogeneration in Europe, working at the EU level and with Member States to develop sustainable energy policies and remove unnecessary barriers to the further deployment of cogeneration.

Heating and cooling account for around half of the EU’s energy use. Cogeneration, either at building level or connected to a district heating network, can play a significant role in delivering efficient, low-carbon and secure heating, cooling and hot water to domestic customers. Equally importantly, it enables industrial energy users to reduce their environmental footprint and ensure security of heat supply for processes that require high grade heat. We estimate that 100 000 consumers benefit from on-site cogeneration, while around 70 million Europeans use district heating, half of its heat being supplied by cogeneration today.

This year’s Power of Heat Conference will explore key topics around the energy transition, climate action and competitivenes, COGEN Europe’s annual conference brings bringing together EU and national policymakers, industry leaders and influential thinkers to discuss the . We look forward to welcoming industyr thought leaders at our Annual Conference on 21-22 September, in Budapest, to discuss the latest policy and market developments, associated challenges, future trends in energy markets and seize new growth opportunities.


Below, Hans Korteweg explains in a video why COGEN Europe supports the Clean Energy Package proposed by the European Commission and currently debated by the European Parliament and the EU Member States. Video is courtesy of the Cogeneration Channel.


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