04 Apr 2023, 13:54
Carolina Kyllmann

German government aims to reduce final energy consumption over one quarter by 2030

Clean Energy Wire

Clear energy saving targets for 2030 will be set into Germany’s law for the first time, according to a draft of the Energy Efficiency Act released by the economy and climate action ministry (BMWK). The government’s target is to reduce final energy consumption by 26.5 percent by 2030 to 1,867 terawatt hours (TWh), compared to 2008. In context, the final energy consumption stood at just over 2,400 TWH in 2021 according to data from the federal environment agency (UBA) – a small decrease from just over 2,500 TWh in 2008. The bill would require public institutions to achieve two percent total energy savings annually until 2045 and introduce energy consumption registers, as well as see large energy consumers identify and publish “feasible plans” for energy efficiency measures identified as economically viable. Additionally, it sets targets for the use of waste heat and renewable energy share of data centres. While these targets were reduced compared to a previous draft version, digital association Bitkom argued their initial criticism had been disregarded and “this energy efficiency law will drive data centres out of Germany.” The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) also criticised the law, saying that “saving energy is not the same as increasing efficiency.”
The government also proposed to “aim to” reduce final energy consumption by 39 percent by 2040 and 45 percent by 2045. These long-term targets are to be reviewed in 2027 and revised if necessary.

The economy and climate action ministry tightened the law from a previous 24 percent final energy consumption reduction target to align with new EU energy saving regulations. The draft law will now be presented to the cabinet and is expected to be adopted before the end of April. Chancellor Olaf Scholz had promised “ambitious” regulation to improve energy efficiency when the short runtime extension of Germany’s nuclear power plants was announced in late 2022. The legislation was expected by the end of the same year, but the pro-business FDP in particular had spoken out against harsh regulations for companies.

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