German energy transition fails on emissions and efficiency – report
Increasing efficiency is crucial for the success of Germany’s energy transition, but there has been little progress on the issue, which is strongly neglected in comparison to renewables and emission reduction targets, reports Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. According to Germany’s federal authority for energy efficiency (BfEE), Germany will lower its primary energy use by a mere 6 percent by 2020 compared to 2008, in contrast with the target of a 20 percent cut. Between 2012 and 2017, energy use even increased by around one percent per year.
The German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF) says the country will probably reach its 2020 target as late as 2030, when energy consumption is meant to be 30 percent lower. “The development of energy efficiency lags ten years and ten percentage points behind targets,” said DENEFF head Christian Noll.
“Like many other OECD countries, Germany might have managed to largely decouple economic growth from energy use, but obviously not enough to enable lowering energy consumption while economic growth is strong and sustained,” writes Wetzel. He says increasing efficiency has become more difficult because German industry has already picked many low-hanging fruits, low energy prices provide little incentives, and state programmes to increase efficiency are numerous but confusing.