Parliament sticks to its guns on draft cogeneration directive

The Parliament’s Industry Committee has refused to bow to pressure from the Council and the Commission, sticking to its initial position on the Cogeneration Directive. The possibility of a conciliation procedure looms ever closer.

The Parliament's Industry Committee on 2 December adopted a report drafted by Norbert Glante (PES, Germany) on the proposed Cogeneration Directive for the EP's second reading. The MEPs decided to reintroduce many of the EP's amendments from the first reading, even though the Council had rejected them (seeEURACTIV 19 Semptember 2003).

The Committee's most important amendments concern:

  • the need forharmonised definitionsof 'cogeneration', and especially of 'micro-cogeneration', which is considered essential for single market purposes;
  • support forsmall generation plants: the Committee calls for easier access, less bureaucracy and low costs for small plants to join up with their local grids;
  • binding EU and nationaltargets and timetables, which MEPs say are crucial for a sustainable increase in cogeneration: the target should be 18 per cent of total output by 2012.
  • deadlines for the introduction of auniform way of calculating and categorising cogenerationacross the EU: the report says that a uniform method with harmonised reference values should be used as soon as it is presented by the Commission, no later than two years after the directive enters into force.

EP, Commission and Council will hold an informal trialogue before the EP's plenary session in December to try to avoid conciliation. Should the negotiations succeed, the plenary vote will be postponed to January 2004 to allow time for necessary compromise amendments to be drafted.

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