Germany should focus on energy efficiency before power-to-x – energy experts
Clean Energy Wire
Germany should focus on becoming more energy efficient instead of waiting for power-to-x solutions to make the country carbon neutral, 23 energy experts have stated in a joint paper. The experts include many members of the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF). The experts stressed that progress "in no other area" of the energy transition is "so far behind target" as in energy efficiency, while the German government is working on a strategy on hydrogen and synthetic fuels. The energy experts said investments in efficiency would bring in equal or even higher gains, and could be implemented rapidly. Relying too heavily on the development of power-to-x technologies could, on the other hand, make Germany dependent on gas imports and take a long time until realisation, thus incurring EU fines. The experts recommend a CO2 price for heating and transport of at least 50 euros per tonne, and tax incentives for efficiency measures in buildings and industry, among other suggestions.
“The development of energy efficiency lags ten years and ten percentage points behind targets,” said DENEFF head Christian Noll at the beginning of the year. In 2018, primary energy consumption was about 10 percent lower than in the baseline year 2008. Germany aims for a 20 percent cut by 2020.