Green Paper on Energy Efficiency; Source: BMWi

© BMWi

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has launched the public consultation on the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency. The Green Paper sets out key questions and assumptions regarding the major challenges and possible action to reduce energy consumption in the long term.

Federal Minister Gabriel said: "In the context of the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE), we have earmarked a total of 17 billion euros for the period 2016-2020 for programmes to improve energy efficiency, thus highlighting for the first time the central role that energy efficiency deserves. This is a great success. However, in order to achieve the targets of the energy transition by 2050, we must continue to make use of every opportunity to enhance energy efficiency. We do not need to produce, store, transmit and pay for the energy that we save. This is why the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency raises the key question of how we can lastingly increase prosperity and at the same time reduce the energy consumption needed for this. This question is decisive when it comes to ensuring that our children and grandchildren can grow up in prosperity and in a healthy global climate. I am launching the consultation process for the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency to make this possible."

The progress made in the recent past shows that economic growth is possible in spite of falling energy consumption. The Monitoring Report on the Energy Transition makes it clear that between 2008 and 2014 primary energy consumption declined by a total of 8.3% (in 2008: 14,380 PJ; in 2014: 13,180 PJ) while economic growth has risen.

In the context of the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy submitted a comprehensive package of measures to improve energy efficiency in December 2014. The immediate action that was announced at that time has meanwhile been taken. We must now discuss additional steps to reach our efficiency targets. At the same time, we must find answers to further questions, e.g. how to achieve the best combination of energy efficiency and renewable energies and how efficient sector coupling can take place.

The Green Paper is the beginning of a consultation process with the aim of a medium-term to long-term strategy for the reduction of energy consumption in Germany.

The key questions and assumptions set out in the Green Paper serve to focus the dialogue on the major aspects in five fields of action:

  • Efficiency First,
  • further development of the instruments,
  • European energy efficiency policies,
  • sector coupling,
  • and digitisation.

The consultation process consists of the following elements:

  • online consultation: all interested citizens and all stakeholders have the opportunity to submit their comments on the Ministry's Green Paper [by 31 October 2016];
  • Energy Transition 'Energy Efficiency' Platform: discussion of the Green Paper with the participants of the Energy Transition 'Energy Efficiency' and 'Building' Platforms;
  • Regional events on the Green Paper; more information will follow.

For the possibility of making (brief) comments on the assumptions contained in the Green Paper and for further information on the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency cf.

The energy transition is entering a new phase - take part in the discussion!

You can find out more about current German energy policy in the fortnightly Newsletter "Energiewende direkt".