Parliament adopts cogeneration compromise

Backing the deal hammered out with the Council on a Directive on the promotion of combined heat and power, the Parliament on 18 December adopted its report in second reading.

The Parliament on 18 December 2003 adopted its second reading report on the Cogeneration Directive, following a last minute agreement with the Council which was designed to avoid the prospect of a lengthy conciliation procedure (see

EURACTIV 17 December 2003).

MEPs backed the compromise text, presenting 20 amendments which focused on the following areas:

  • Definition of combined heat and power[CHP = cogeneration]: The Council accepted the EP'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.

Cogen Europe, speaking for the cogeneration industry, welcomed the development. "The Parliament’s agreement of the compromise is great news for the industry and will result in a sound legal basis for cogeneration," said Dr Simon Minett, Director of the Association.

The compromise amendments will now have to be officially adopted by the Council, probably (as an 'A point') at a Council meeting before the end of 2003.

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