Conclusions of COGEN Europe's Annual Conference 29 June 2023
COGEN Europe (the European Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration) held its Annual Conference in Brussels on 29 June 2023. The Conference was closed by Dora Adamo (Clean Power Solutions Strategy Leader, Baker Hughes), who was speaking in her capacity as a member of COGEN Europe's Executive Committee.
This year’s Annual Conference has been a special occasion to mark 30 years of active advocacy and engagement with policymakers in Brussels, as well as showcasing cogeneration’s industrial leadership.
We have heard from many high-level speakers, including representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament. We thank them for their valuable contributions and insights. We welcome the high-level support for the cogeneration sector at political level. This reflects the sector’s commitment to excellence, innovation and decarbonisation, as well as to the customer.
We are pleased that Commissioner Kadri Simson kick-started the conference with a positive message on the importance of putting energy efficiency first and the role that cogeneration can play as a key pillar of decarbonisation, reliability and competitiveness. The Commissioner rightly stressed that there is no time to lose if we are going to deliver on the EU’s energy and climate objectives.
In view of Ms Zamazeeva’s* powerful speech on the situation in Ukraine, COGEN Europe would like to restate its solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the country’s efforts to re-build its energy infrastructure. Our sector can make an important contribution to higher resiliency, energy efficiency and decarbonisation endeavours.
We also thank Cristian Bușoi MEP, the Chair of the European Parliament’s ITRE Committee, for his contribution to the debate and continuous engagement with the cogeneration sector. His address echoed what our sector sees as the challenges of the future energy system: decarbonisation, security of supply, affordability and competitiveness.
We have many reasons to be optimistic today. Cogeneration has been a key energy efficiency solution for the past decades. The role of cogeneration will change in the next 30 years, but it will remain an important technology to enable the future energy system as it decarbonises, electrifies and becomes renewables-led.
Industry executives speaking today showed their commitment to providing cogeneration solutions that are future-proof.
- We have heard that cogeneration is establishing itself as a key contributor to Europe’s energy system – both today and in the future.
- There is substantial innovation in the cogeneration sector, focusing on digitalisation, renewable fuels, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS), flexibilisation and optimisation with other decarbonisation solutions.
- There is no single technology or solution that will enable us to reach Net Zero. Therefore, we need to embrace an integrated multi-technology approach.
- There is a broad consensus that we need to remain open to a range of different technologies and allow industry to rapidly deploy and optimise all relevant solutions in order to deliver emission reductions cost-effectively, while maintaining system reliability.
Technology is available to deliver on our energy and climate objectives! What will drive its deployment?
- Solution providers take guidance from their customers and the policy framework.
- Energy users are becoming increasingly aware of environmental objectives and as a result they are demanding clean, reliable and affordable energy.
- The security of investments depends heavily on having an ambitious, comprehensive and stable policy framework. Today, unfortunately, uncertainty still underpins the policy environment in Europe.
The current policy debate in Brussels presents important opportunities for the cogeneration sector. Our final panel session on the ongoing Electricity Market Reform debate has showcased the key role that cogeneration can play in providing flexibility for the energy system alongside energy efficiency benefits. Taking an integrated approach to the energy system will allow Europe to accelerate the uptake of renewables, maintain security of supply and ensure affordable energy for European consumers, from industry to district heating as well as domestic consumers.
Another takeaway from today’s discussions is the importance of communicating as a sector to energy consumers, the broader energy community and policymakers. There is a clear and strong case for cogeneration – both today and for the future. As an industry, we are committed to delivering on very high ambitions. Our role, as COGEN Europe, is to share this message and make it understandable. We must spread the word among decision makers and the whole energy value chain.