Energy efficiency first. Cogeneration. The Energy Efficiency Directive. Let’s dive deeper into the technologies and the European policies’ contributions towards decarbonisation.

Over the years power generation has become more and more efficient. However, several improvements are still possible to achieve. According to the latest data from the European Environmental Agency, European thermal power plants are on average 49.7% efficient, with an increase of more than 2 percentage points compared to two years earlier. However, the newest thermal power plants making use of cogeneration technology show quite different performances, and are able to reach efficiencies of up to 90%.

This is the reasoning behind “Energy efficiency first”, one of the guiding principles for the EU’s energy strategy. It is the acknowledgement that energy efficiency is the primary fuel for the EU’s energy needs. By investing in more energy efficient generation, transmission & distribution and usage we can significantly reduce our resource consumption, environmental footprint and economic costs.

Energy Technologies Europe firmly supports the “Energy efficiency first” principle. The association aims to show how the entire value chain has to play a role in ensuring energy efficiency. To this aim, energy losses should be prevented both at the consumer level (e.g. by buying a more energy efficient refrigerator) but also at earlier stages where major improvements can be made (i.e. efficiency losses during the generation, transmission and distribution of energy).

The cleanest source of energy we have is the one which is not consumed or the one which is not wasted. By 2030, we will need to reduce our energy use by 32.5% as determined by the recast of the Energy Efficiency Directive which was adopted in 2018. This is an ambitious but much needed target. Thanks to the technologies provided by our members (e.g. energy efficient boilers, cogeneration solutions, digital solutions and heat recovery steam generators) we are confident that these targets can be achieved.

Energy Technologies Europe actively contributed to the evolution of the Energy Efficiency Directive and will continue to promote the concept of “Energy efficiency first”.