July 23 2002 – The European Commission (EC) here on Tuesday made a proposal for a directive on co-generation of power and heat in order to save energy and combat climate change.
This new proposal would help limit the growing external dependence for energy and harmful greenhouse gases emissions, an EC press release quoted EC Commissioner for Energy and Transport Loyola de Palacio as saying.
“It complements the Renewable Directive and the EC’s recent proposals on energy efficiency in buildings and biofuels, in setting up a new regulatory framework to encourage energy saving and the use of new energies,” she added.
Co-generation is a technique through which heat and electricity are produced in one single process. New co-generation plants save at least ten per cent of the fuel otherwise used for separate production of heat and electricity.
The production of electricity through co-generation represented 11 per cent of the European Union’s (EU) total electricity production in 1998, leading to energy savings comparable to the annual gross energy consumption of Austria or Greece. The potential for co-generation is however much greater and huge energy savings could be made if high efficient techniques were more widespread.
It is predicted that if the co-generation share in electricity production increased to 18 per cent of total electricity supply, energy savings in the range of three to four percent of the EU’s total gross inland energy consumption could be yielded.
Subsequent reductions in greenhouse gases emissions could amount to 65 million t of carbon dioxide each year.