As part of the Energy Efficiency Platform, there are also public events held on a range of specific topics. These events aim to embrace a dialogue with an extended expert audience about certain aspects of the key fields of action relating to energy efficiency. This enables the work of the Platform to be presented to a wider public. At the same time, it offers the opportunity to discuss in a wider group certain issues which arise from the working groups and the plenary and to give consideration to different expert views, experiences and interests.
“An energy efficiency strategy for Germany”
The event entitled “An energy efficiency strategy for Germany” was held in Berlin on 5 November 2018. It sought to provide input on the elements to be possibly included in the Federal Government’s energy efficiency strategy and to provide additional ideas and impetus for this strategy.
The event was attended by around 50 stakeholders from the plenary session of the Energy Efficiency Platform. It began with four presentations on the most important energy-efficiency instruments and measures included in the strategy.
These were followed by several rounds of a World Café, where participants discussed instruments for price-based and quantitative steering which it was considered could be, or ought to be, included in the energy efficiency strategy. These included in particular a discussion of the following questions:
- What is the impact of a particular instrument on different areas of consumption?
- How precisely can these instruments be steered? How vulnerable are these instruments to rebound effects?
- To what extent are they compatible with the instruments already adopted?
- How can these instruments be implemented politically? How can these instruments be implemented in a way that is socially acceptable?
All the stakeholders agreed that if no new instruments are adopted and new efforts undertaken, the reductions in energy consumption achieved will not be sufficient for Germany to meet its energy efficiency targets. There was common ground about the fact that a smart mix of instruments is needed and that these need to be underpinned by the current regulatory framework and better information and advice. In the discussion on price-based and quantities steering, it was pointed out that long-term price development scenarios are needed to ensure continuity, predictability, enforceability, social compatibility and redistribution of the energy-efficiency based savings.
The Federal Government’s energy efficiency strategy is currently being drafted in close coordination with other Federal Government ministries and by taking into account plans to adopt a climate change mitigation law. It is to be published in 2019.
“Digitalisation and energy efficiency: potential and challenges”
The consultation process on the Green Paper on energy efficiency has shown that digitalisation is regarded as an enabler for the energy transition and a driving force for the development of the energy services market. However, the digitalisation of the energy sector is also creating questions and a need for action, necessitating close political support for the process of change and the establishment of a suitable policy environment.
Against this background, the conference entitled ‘Digitalisation and energy efficiency: potential and challenges’ was held in Berlin on 29 June 2017. The 70 participants were first shown successful examples giving an impression of the potential offered by digitalisation to boost energy efficiency in industry. Following this, the discussion focused on the policy decisions needed to define the framework for digitalisation in the energy efficiency sector. Existing and emerging standards and interfaces were highlighted in the context of digitalisation and energy efficiency, and the extent to which there is a need for harmonisation and action in the field of standardisation was discussed.
The event showed once again that the use of digital technologies offers highly promising possibilities to develop small-scale potential for energy efficiencies and to open up potential for flexibility which has previously been uneconomic. It also became clear that the preconditions for the secure and reliable use of digitalisation for energy efficiency need to be put in place in the organisational, regulatory and legal framework for data protection, IT security, joint interfaces/standards (“lingua electronica”) which is currently being established. Here, it is still necessary to clarify what data and standards are needed by whom, and what is to be standardised by whom.
Downloadable documents (in German):
“Energy services and other efficiency measures: market development and opportunities”
On 9 May 2017, the Legal Framework/Energy Services working group joined with the Federal Office for Energy Efficiency to hold a conference entitled “Energy services and other efficiency measures: market development and opportunities” in Berlin.
At the start, the 65 participants were given an overview of the current developments on the overall market and on the three submarkets of energy consulting, contracting and energy management on the basis of the Federal Office for Energy Efficiency’s latest market survey for energy audits, energy services and other energy efficiency measures. It became clear that the market for efficiency-enhancing energy services in Germany has fundamentally established itself both in terms of the breadth and the depth of what is on offer, and that the diversity of the available services has increased. Despite this, energy services are not being used to the extent necessary in order to attain the Federal Government’s energy efficiency targets or to the extent that makes good business sense.
Working from brief impulse statements, the participants therefore discussed the measures that the market players believe can strengthen the submarkets and the extent to which government policies can foster their development. It became clear that digitalisation is regarded as something that can give a boost to energy management services. It was also recognised that public sector can serve as a greater role model and publicise examples of best practices in order to stimulate the contracting and energy management submarkets. Furthermore, an improvement in the regulations governing contracting was deemed necessary, while the issue of quality assurance was considered particularly important for the energy consulting market segment. Possibilities for improved marketing of various energy services were also identified as important fields of action.
Downloadable documents (in German):
- Presentation: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy – heat supply contracting (PDF, 146 KB (PDF, 146 KB))
- Presentation: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy – stimuli for energy-saving contracting by the Federal Government (PDF, 1.021KB)
“Raw materials and energy efficiency – synergies and conflicting objectives”
Alongside the meeting of the Systemic Issues working group that took place in Berlin on 27 June 2016, another specialist event entitled “Raw materials and energy efficiency – synergies and conflicting objectives” was also held. Working from the six presentations by academics and practitioners, the 50 participants discussed the extent to which joint goals, instruments, measures and synergies, as well as conflicting objectives and impediments, exist in the policy fields and fields of action relating to energy and resource efficiency. It became clear that standardised instruments from the field of energy efficiency cannot simply be transferred to the field of resource efficiency. In the field of resource efficiency, a case-by-case approach is more suitable. In order to further dovetail the two fields of action, it was proposed that there be an in-depth analysis of the specific need for action via the continued consideration of the issues, a continued dialogue with relevant stakeholders, and the initiation and backing of pilot projects, e.g. relating to the consideration of resource efficiency in energy efficiency networks.
“Energy efficiency cooperatives – financing energy efficiency investments from the public?”
In the context of the Working Group on Innovative Financing Concepts, a thematic event was held in Berlin on 6 October 2015 about “energy efficiency cooperatives – financing energy efficiency investments from the public?”. The 50 participants heard seven presentations and on this basis discussed the extent to which cooperation between citizens’ energy cooperatives and municipalities offers potential for greater energy efficiency, and how more use can be made of this potential. It became clear that energy cooperatives can relieve the financial and human resources burden on municipalities in the efforts to improve energy performance, and can foster local added value and public participation. However, it was also found that only a few cooperatives are currently active in this new field of business, and that there is therefore a lack of trust and practical experience. Various questions were identified with regard to the future development of this innovative financing concept. Building on this, possible next steps to support the market development of energy efficiency cooperatives are being examined.