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Brussels, 20 November 2009

Cogeneration Directive: Commission sends a Reasoned Opinion to four Member States

Today, the Commission sent a Reasoned Opinion to Portugal, Slovakia, Finland and the United Kingdom for failure to communicate the full transposition of the Directive on the promotion of cogeneration 1 . The Directive aims at promoting the use of combined heat and power with the view of saving primary energy, avoiding network losses and reducing greenhouse gases.

Cogeneration is a technology of simultaneous power and heat generation which presents a substantial potential for increased energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact and is considered to be a priority area for many Member States. Conventional power plants emit the heat created as a by-product of electricity generation into the environment through cooling towers, flue gas or by other means. Simultaneous production of heat and power captures the by-product heat for domestic or industrial heating purposes.

The Directive provides a framework for the promotion of this technology in order to overcome remaining barriers, to advance its penetration in the liberalised energy markets and to help harness its untapped potential. The Directive urges Member States to carry out analyses of their potential for high efficiency cogeneration.

The EU has committed itself to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% as compared to 1990 levels and to reduce by 20% our energy consumption through improved energy efficiency by 2020. Cogeneration is an important instrument to achieve these objectives.

The Reasoned Opinion is the second step in the infringement procedure. The four Member States now have two months to take the necessary measures to comply with the Reasoned Opinion. After that, the Commission can decide to bring the case before the European Court of Justice.

1 :

Directive 2004/8/EC on the promotion of cogeneration based on a useful heat demand in the internal energy market and amending Directive 92/42/EEC

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