COGEN Europe has announced key legislative recommendations to ensure that the Clean Energy Package engages energy consumers.
The aim of the document is to turn consumers into active beneficiaries of the energy transition by unlocking the contribution of cogeneration towards the Clean Energy Package objectives.
The Clean Energy Package, released by the European Commission on 30 November 2016, will be crucial to provide a coherent framework for energy consumers and investors with a 2030 time horizon to move to low-carbon, secure and affordable energy system.
Providing the right signals to investors and energy consumers (from heavy industry, through to commercial and public sector users and individual householders) will be crucial to enable them to take ownership and accelerate the energy transition, planning for the future and making well-informed choices.
Being consumer-led and using a range of conventional and renewable fuels, cogeneration or combined heat & power (CHP), engages consumers and makes consumers active beneficiaries of the energy transition. Cogeneration thus helps deliver on the objectives of the Clean Energy Package by saving energy, reducing CO2 emissions and enabling more renewable heat and electricity in the system, while ensuring grid stability.
To unlock the potential of cogeneration in accelerating the energy transition, policymakers should take into consideration the following key principles:
Ensure an integrated approach to energy and climate policy, breaking down the silos between energy conversion, transmission, distribution and consumption and unlocking synergies between different energy carriers and grids (electricity, heat, gas). While the Package addresses in depth the downstream of the energy value chain (i.e. energy consumption/final energy use), unlocking the significant untapped energy efficiency potential at supply side level, in the conversion, transmission and distribution of energy will be key to delivering the 2030 objectives and should thus be strengthened in the Clean Energy Package proposals.
Allow investors and consumers to achieve real efficiency improvements based on informed choices. To this end, it is important that energy savings can be compared across all parts of the economy and sectors, from supply to demand. Policy signals need to reflect the losses and inefficiencies in today’s energy system, across all energy carriers (i.e. electricity, heat, gas networks) and reflecting when and how heat and electricity is used and produced. A robust and transparent methodology capturing these principles (within the Primary Energy Factor) will allow consumers to take informed decisions to achieve real efficiency gains.
Strengthen and apply consistently the acquis of the Energy Efficiency Directive to ensure efficient, secure, sustainable and cost-effective supply of both electricity and heat for European consumers, thus allowing for the specific needs of domestic, commercial, public and industrial consumers to be fully addressed. Addressing the challenge of sustainable, secure and cost-effective heat supply is particularly important, and often forgotten. Therefore, the continuity of heat supply principle should be strengthened throughout the Package by reinforcing systematic and comprehensive planning and implementation of efficient heating and cooling solutions. In this respect, and with a view to promote renewable heat, as well as flexible low and no-carbon electricity generation, a balanced approach should be taken to incentivising the efficient use of bioenergy resources with cogeneration.
Address the diverse needs of all energy consumers – domestic, commercial, public and industrial – to efficiently produce their own heat and electricity, while enabling them to unlock all available flexibility opportunities (e.g. demand response, heat and/or electricity storage, balancing services, aggregation of either demand or supply). It is equally important to ensure a continued business case for existing sustainable energy investments, including for cogeneration.
Commenting on the ongoing debate around the Clean Energy Package, Dr. Tim Rotheray, Acting Managing Director of COGEN Europe, said: “The Clean Energy Package represents a unique opportunity on the pathway to 2050 to foster favorable policies at the national level that will enable consumers to play an active role in the energy transition, as well as benefiting from innovative technologies like cogeneration. It is by empowering consumers that the Clean Energy Package will be able to break the silos between energy conversion, transmission, distribution and consumption.”
“There also needs to be a sustained focus on the implementation of existing energy efficiency provisions, in particular the national comprehensive assessments on heating and cooling, and continued consistency and continuity between existing policies and the new Clean Energy Package proposals. COGEN Europe is committed to contributing to the ongoing legislative process so that this important legislative package delivers positive outcomes for European energy users.”
COGEN Europe Position Paper on the Clean Energy Package (pdf)