Cogen Europe urges caution on "flex mex"

Combined heat and power sector "could suffer" if climate gas trading poorly implemented

Europe's cogeneration industry risks being left out of climate gas trading schemes when parties to the UN climate change convention meet in Buenos Aires next month, lobby group Cogen Europe has warned. According to the group, the specific circumstances of cogeneration installations, need to be considered when rules are agreed for Kyoto flexible mechanisms - or "flex mex" - such as emissions trading and joint implementation. Cogeneration plant's generally smaller size compared with conventional electricity generation stations should not lead to them being omitted as a source of emissions credits at the outset of a trading regime or for its duration, Cogen Europe says. Neither should particular problems inherent in including cogeneration in baseline calculations be used to exclude it, the group goes on. Cogen Europe also fears that firms seeking to start up cogeneration plants in the future might be discriminated against once tradable emissions permits have been granted to existing operators. The group claims that effective use of flex mex should stimulate the use of cogeneration, but "until agreement is reached on their final design, it is not clear whether these processes will help or hinder cogeneration and other small generators, such as renewable energies".

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