European Parliament Vice-President Alejo Vidal-Quadras is drawing attention to the major market challenges facing the industrial combined heat and power (CHP) sector. In a question to the European Commission, the Spanish MEP asks what action is being taken to ensure that technologies such as CHP maintain and improve the energy competitiveness of industries in Europe.
European industry is a large consumer of energy (315 Mtoe per year), and combined heat and power offers businesses a way to reduce their bills and carbon footprint simultaneously. The parliamentary question argues that the EU has a long-term interest in developing all its energy-efficiency potential, pointing out that the European Union continues to support CHP through several directives, including the Energy Efficiency Directive.
Despite this, industrial CHP is currently facing major challenges as the electricity market continues its transition towards low-carbon power – a situation which is worsened by current high gas prices.
The parliamentary question
stresses that member states’ current energy market policies could lead to decreasing use of CHP in a number of countries because of growing investor uncertainty and a lack of clearly-defined long-term policy structures, and goes on to ask what the Commission can do to support this higher productivity and lower carbon enabling technology in this difficult transitional period.
COGEN Europe Managing Director Fiona Riddoch said: “Industrial CHP is a key technology for energy cost savings and carbon reduction today, and is one of the vital tools enabling Europe’s industrial base to achieve the 2020 Strategy goals. A European cogeneration strategy can create thousands of jobs in Europe and build on existing technical strength in the sector. The industry employs over 100,000 European citizens today.”