22 Sep 2023, 13:21
Jack McGovan

Germany sets binding 2030 target for energy consumption reduction

Clean Energy Wire

A legal framework for energy efficiency has been passed into law by the German parliament for the first time. The Energy Efficiency Act aims for a reduction in annual energy consumption of about 500 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2030, roughly a quarter of the total consumption recorded in 2021. The federal government is required to reduce energy consumption by at least 45 TWh per year from 2024 and the states by at leat 3 TWh, the economy and climate action ministry (BMWK) said in an e-mailed statement. Companies with high energy consumption will be obliged to introduce energy management systems and data centres must use waste heat in their operations in order to improve energy efficiency, the ministry added. “In the future, every unit of energy should be used as efficiently as possible. This makes economic sense, makes us more considerate, and is also good for the climate,” minister Robert Habeck said.

Responding to the law, DENEFF, an association for German companies supporting energy efficiency, said it “would have wished for more long-term planning security” and that the measures introduced by the law should have been implemented earlier. The association added, however, that the law is a “first step” in the right direction. The German Association of Public Utilities (VKU) also supported the law, despite entertaining some concerns. “We are critical of the fact that different requirements apply to municipal companies, which puts them at a disadvantage compared to private ones,” they said. The association of energy intensive businesses (VIK) said that the law was a missed opportunity to cut red tape around energy efficiency measures. “The bureaucracy of a law must not exceed the planned relief,” they said.

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