In December 2014, Germany launched a National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE). This lays out a multitude of individual measures and further work processes aimed at setting new incentives for investment in efficiency. At the same time, however, the country’s Energy Concept sets out ambitious targets for accelerating this process of incentive-setting and making even better use of existing potential for raising energy efficiency. The result is that a more extensive mid to long-term energy-efficiency strategy needs to be developed now for the period up to 2050. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy therefore launched a public consultation on the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency, which commenced on 12 August 2016.

Key questions and discussion points in the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency

The Green Paper on Energy Efficiency sets out key questions and discussion points for the most important fields of action and most important challenges vis-à-vis efforts to reduce energy consumption in the long term. The Paper places the focus for the dialogue on the most important aspects of the following fields fields of action:

  • Efficiency first: How can the basic principle of prioritising energy-efficiency measures actually be applied within planning and control processes in energy policy and the energy market?
  • Further development of instruments: How can the existing range of instruments in energy-efficiency policy be further developed in order to enable Germany to reach its target of reducing primary energy consumption by 50% by 2050? How can basic challenges and current trends be approached?
  • Energy-efficiency policy at European level: How is the European framework for efficiency policy developing and how can responsibilities in this area be divided up effectively between European and national-level institutions?
  • Sector coupling: As growing shares of renewable energy in the electricity sector are to be used in order to largely decarbonise other sectors: What requirements need to be established in order to help us make the most energy-efficient use of green energy versus other methods of decarbonisation?
  • Digitisation: What are the challenges/the opportunities linked to using digital technologies for controlling energy consumption and energy generation? How will digital business models change the energy market, and what does this mean for energy-efficiency policy?

Consultation process launched

The key questions and discussion points compiled by Federal Economic Affairs Ministry in its Green Paper will be discussed with interested members of the public as part of a consultation process, which is to lead on to jointly developed solutions.

The consultation process includes the following different elements:

  • Online consultation: Members of the public and affected stakeholders have the opportunity to submit their comments on the Green Paper at up to 31 October 2016.
  • Energy Transition 'Energy Efficiency' Platform: The Energy Efficiency and Buildings Platforms will be used to host discussions on the Green Paper with members of these platforms.
  • Regional events on the Green Paper for which the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will provide information on the Green Paper website

Now that the consultation period is over, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is drawing up a report on the dialogue process. Based on this report, the Ministry will develop and bundle together conclusions and recommendations for action for a mid to long-term energy strategy, presenting these in a White Paper on Energy Efficiency.