Cogeneration Directive through: Council adopts compromise text

Backing the deal hammered out with Parliament, Council on 26 January formally adopted the Cogeneration Directive, which is designed to promote the simultaneous production of electricity and heat in Europe.

The Council on 26 January approved the compromise deal hammered out with the Parliament and thus adopted the Cogeneration Directive. The compromise was designed to avoid the prospect of a lengthy conciliation procedure (see

EURACTIV 17 December 2003).

The Council approved all the compromise amendments adopted by the Parliament on 18 December 2003 (see

EURACTIV 19 December 2003). These focused on the following areas:

  • Definition of combined heat and power[CHP = cogeneration]: The Council accepted the Parliament's proposed definition of micro-generation as being plants with a maximum output below 50 kWe.
  • Calculation methods and timetables: This was the crucial point in the negotiations. The EP finally agreed to the Council's approach to allow alternative calculation methods which may now be used until at least 2010. MEPs also backed the Commission's proposal for a two-step approach to defining 'cogenerated electricity'.
  • Targets: EP and Council have agreed that Member States should be obliged to evaluate their national potential for cogeneration and report their findings to the Commission.

The Council's approval of the text puts an end to long and controversial debates on the best way to promote cogeneration in the EU through removing barriers and creating a common understanding of the technology and its benefits.

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