25 Nov 2020, 14:25
Julian Wettengel

Germany lags behind on energy efficiency in all sectors – researchers

Clean Energy Wire

The use of energy in Germany has become increasingly efficient since the 1990s, but not at the rate the government wants it to - with some sectors even taking a step backwards last year, writes energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB) in a press release. The efficiency of energy use in Germany’s industry decreased 2.2 percent, as the necessary high investments for efficiency measures in the sector “have not materialised in recent years, also due to unclear industry policy framework conditions,” write the researchers. In transport, the “sustained trend towards high-horse-power vehicles” and only cautious embrace of alternative drives meant energy efficiency declined 0.4 percent last year. A detailed report by the researchers looks at energy efficiency indicators for the time period 1990-2019 and it shows that all sectors lag behind targets. Private households and industry have made the least progress on average since 1990, trade and services the most.

Overall, final energy consumption in relation to economic output ("final energy productivity") has improved 0.4 percent in 2019, compared to a long-term average increase of 1.2 percent per year, writes AGEB. Contrary to primary energy use, this does not take into account losses in the energy supply system through energy conversion and transport. The average is still far off the actual target. The government has set the goal to increase energy efficiency by 2.1 percent per year on average until 2050. When also taking into account energy conversion and transport, efficiency in the German economy has improved overall by more than 42 percent since 1990 – mostly due to a more efficient power generation.

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