Energy efficiency is the second pillar of the energy transition – as declared by the German government in its Energy Efficiency Strategy 2050. A key element of this pillar is the Energy Efficiency Networks initiative, which aims to increase energy efficiency in industry, trade, commerce and the energy sector. adelphi and Fraunhofer ISI have been responsible for monitoring the initiative since 2017.
What exactly is the Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection Networks initiative?
The initiative is an action alliance between the German government and 21 business associations and organisations in Germany. Currently in its second phase (2021 - 2025), the initiative aims to establish 300 to 350 networks and achieve savings of 9 to 11 TWh of final energy consumption, or 5 to 6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents. A network consists of at least five companies. After a qualified energy consultation, each company sets a savings target and the network establishes a cumulative goal. These targets are to be achieved through energy efficiency and climate-protection measures.
What is the purpose of monitoring?
Monitoring enables the verification of the reported measures and the assessment of the achieved savings. The exact savings are relevant with regard to reporting for the German government’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and for the European Commission’s Energy Efficiency Directive. Furthermore, the fulfilment of the minimum requirements as a prerequisite for the recognition of participation in the initiative is verified for each network. Finally, annual reports are prepared to provide the general public with further insight into the networks and their activities.
From 2018 to 2022, monitoring took place for 199 networks from the first phase of the initiative (2015 - 2020). The process acquired detailed data for 182 of them, which allowed for a precise evaluation. While half of the monitored networks achieved or exceeded their individual network target, the overall targets from the National Action Plan for the first phase of the initiative are not expected to be achieved. There are two main reasons for this: the fact that fewer networks were established than originally planned and the COVID19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the overall results of the monitored networks are considerable: 7,223 implemented measures have led to annual savings of 5,592 GWh of final energy consumption, 7,005 GWh of primary energy consumption (only the non-renewable part is taken into account) and 2,017 kt of CO2. While most of the measures were the result of cross-cutting technologies and relate to electricity as an energy source, more savings could be achieved within the more complex heating sector. The savings exhibit a very high degree of heterogeneity at all levels of observation (networks, companies and measures), reflecting the breadth of the initiative and its participants.
The report presents extensive details on the background of the initiative, the participating companies and the results at the level of the individual measures
Initiative Energieeffizienz- und Klimaschutznetzwerke
Further development of the Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection Networks initiative
In 2021, the Energy Efficiency Networks project became the Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection Networks initiative. While the use of networks will remain in place, the focus has expanded to include climate protection. Participating companies will also have greater leeway to achieve efficiencies.
Monitoring of the Energy Efficiency Networks Initiative
Following their collaboration on the first phase of the project, adelphi and Fraunhofer ISI have developed the monitoring rules for the second part (2022 - 2025). The two institutions will also continue to direct the monitoring process. In the second phase, the number of networks is to expand to 300 or 350. The networks are expected to achieve savings of 9 to 11 terawatt hours of final energy consumption or 5 to 6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents.