Category: Energy efficiency



Under the influence of the general impression of non-obligatory character of the draft provisions there shouldn’t be omitted some parts of the proposal, which impose rigorous requirements on new and existing electricity generation installations. Moreover, they are formulated in a strict manner and potentially would have significant effect on electricity generation capacities in Europe.




On 22 June 2011 the European Commission published its Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy efficiency and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC {SEC(2011) 779 final} {SEC(2011) 780 final} (COM(2011) 370 final) - in the rest of these remarks referred to as “Proposal”.


This initiative faced criticisms in media from different sources. There were arguments, in particular, that the Proposal lacks ambition and its main deficiency is that energy efficiency targets for Member States are not obligatory but only indicative. There were also expressed opinions that the future Directive from the start is doomed to failure.


Chapter III of the Proposal (titled: “Efficiency in energy supply”) and specifically Article 10(3) and (6) introduces, however, new provisions that hardly could be regarded as non-mandatory.


Pursuant to the said provisions on the Member States will be imposed an obligation to ensure that all new thermal electricity generation installations with a total thermal input exceeding 20 MW:


a) are provided with equipment allowing for the recovery of waste heat by means of a high-efficiency cogeneration unit; and

b) are sited in a location where waste heat can be used by heat demand points.


Member States should also adopt authorisation criteria (as referred to in Article 7 of Directive 2009/72/EC), or equivalent permit criteria, to ensure that the provisions of the first subparagraph are met. They should in particular ensure that the location of new installations takes into account the availability of suitable heat loads for cogeneration in accordance with a detailed schedule set out in the Annex VIII to Proposal.




Additionally, according to the Proposal, certain new obligations would be introduced as regards existing electricity generation installations. Article 10(6) stipulates that Member States should ensure that, whenever an existing electricity generation installation with a total rated thermal input exceeding 20 MW is substantially refurbished or when, in accordance with Article 21 of Directive 2010/75/EC, its permit is updated, conversion to allow its operation as a high-efficiency cogeneration installation is set as a condition in the new or updated permit or licence, provided that the installation is sited in a location where the waste heat can be used by heat demand points in accordance with point 1 of Annex VIII.


The meaningful exemption is, however, provided for that the equipment of electricity generation installations with carbon capture or storage facilities shall not be considered as refurbishment for the purpose of these provisions.


In both above instances (Article 10(3) and (6)) the Proposal provides for the possibility for exemptions from newly imposed obligations. The said options are leaved to the discretion of the Member States and should be notified to the European Commission, which finally is empowered to refuse them.


So, the above-described measures are demanding and in the significant way influence on the energy industry business plans. The consequences, if the Proposal materialise, will be far-reaching. They deserve also more detailed analysis.


Download this file (ANNEX VIII Guidelines for siting of thermal electricity installations and indust)Annex VIII - Guidelines for siting of thermal electricity installations[Annex VIII to the Proposal - Guidelines for siting of thermal electricity installations and industrial installations]51 kB