Eastern Europe already generates around 17% of its electricity needs from cogeneration – well ahead of the European average – and considerable potential for expansion remains, particularly in district heating schemes not yet equipped with cogeneration technology. So concluded a meeting hosted by Poland’s CHP support organization, KOGEN Polska, and attended by representatives from countries across Eastern Europe, held in Warsaw.

The meeting heard how the existing infrastructure for district heating in several Member States offers a particularly good opportunity for modern cogeneration. The large infrastructural investment in district heating networks is a valuable asset to optimize the energy efficiency of electricity supply. By incorporating cogeneration in existing, but heat-only, district heating schemes, at least 10% of the related primary energy can be saved, according to COGEN Europe. In Poland alone the opportunity to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the wider use of cogeneration is huge.

Industry remains a second significant area for potential expansion of cogeneration. While industry in Hungary is already a substantial user of cogeneration, the use of cogeneration in industry in Poland and Slovenia should be more widely encouraged.

The meeting was one of three European Regional workshops taking place this month, gathering final input for the first European Cogeneration Potentials Report, which will be published by the CODE project in October. The CODE project is independently monitoring implementation of the Cogeneration Directive in Europe.