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COGEN Europe’s vision 2050

“Combining heat and power is essential for the future energy system.”

COGEN Europe, the European association for the promotion of cogeneration, recently unveiled its new vision that positions cogeneration as the backbone of Europe’s energy system by bringing together electricity, heat and gas networks, and integrating and using renewables efficiently.

“COGEN Europe’s vision addresses the needs of the changing energy system in Europe, which is becoming increasingly low carbon, competitive, smart and local,” explains COGEN Europe Managing Director Hans Korteweg. “We envisage a resilient, decentralised, carbon neutral European energy system by 2050 with cogeneration as its backbone.”

This will result in a variety of benefits such as reduced energy consumption and the associated emission reductions, lower energy bills for citizens, and boosted industrial competitiveness. At the same time, cogeneration will lead to the increased integration of renewable energy, such as variable wind and solar power, as well as dispatchable sources like biomass, biogas and hydrogen, maximising their efficient use and value in the economy.

Moreover, COGEN Europe believes that by as early as 2030, cogeneration could provide 20% of Europe’s electricity requirements and 25% of its heat needs, contributing up to 23% of the EU’s CO2 reduction target and 18% of its energy efficiency target. 90 million European households already receive their energy supply from district heating using cogeneration, and 100,000 SMEs use cogeneration today.

“By 2050, we would like to see a doubling of cogeneration capacity in the EU energy mix by ensuring that cogeneration is prioritised for all thermally generated electricity and heat,” adds Korteweg.

DecarbEurope values

During its May progress meeting, the DecarbEurope partners discussed the following values for the initiative:

  • Decarbonization: we pursue solutions that provide a sizeable contribution and that are scalable to provide rapid and deep carbon savings. For this, we need policy stability, a long-term perspective and strict planning to achieve energy & climate objectives by 2050.
  • Cost-effectiveness: we want solutions that are cost-effective, that compete in the market on merit. Minimum life-cycle costing should guide policy design. All cost-effective measures need to be pursued.
  • Circularity: in the transition from a fossil fuel-based to a more capital-intensive energy system, we want products and systems to be durable, easy to repair and highly recyclable.
  • Sector coupling: we believe in integrated energy systems and the use of digital solutions. We need a system approach combining renewables and energy efficiency with energy flexibility.
  • Consumer engagement: we believe in full access to energy markets, green power purchase agreements (PPAs), guarantees of origin, long-term agreements and peer-to-peer energy transactions.