Energiewende success depends on efficiency – German econ min
Germany’s energy transition can only become a success if the country does not neglect efficiency, the second important pillar of the Energiewende besides renewables expansion, said acting German Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries at the annual kick-off conference of the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF). “The more efficient use of energy is not only a necessity, but a chance for companies to open up new business segments,” Zypries told industry representatives in Berlin. Germany is currently at risk of missing the European Union’s 2020 target of reducing primary energy consumption by 20 percent compared to 2008. This means that the country now ranks in the lower third in terms of the implementation of key EU climate and efficiency targets, said Environmental Action Germany (DUH) Executive Director Sascha Müller-Kraenner.
Germany’s would-be coalition partners, the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), had agreed on creating an “ambitious and cross-sectoral federal energy efficiency strategy” with “efficiency first” as its guiding principle, should they form the next federal government. Reiner Hoffmann, head of the German Trade Union Association (DGB), welcomed this provision, but told conference participants that proposals on concrete measures were still lacking. He said the budget allocated to the energy efficient modernisation of buildings was “significantly too small”.
For background, read the CLEW article Lagging efficiency to get top priority in Germany’s Energiewende, the dossier The Energiewende and Efficiency, and the article Govt energy transition commission calls for CO2 price, mobility action.