More than 1,800 companies in Germany are voluntarily committed to climate protection, reported the "Energy Efficiency Networks Initiative". In September, five car dealerships in Bavaria joined forces to form the 200th Efficiency Network.
"200 is a significant number, proof that the initiative can make an effective contribution to increasing energy efficiency and climate protection," said Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU). The first annual monitoring report by adelphi and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) for the "Energy Efficiency Networks Initiative", which the German government launched with 22 associations and business organizations, shows that cooperation between companies leads to legitimate improvements.
"The networks assessed have thus far achieved an average of 105% of their savings targets. Together, the companies achieve more than they would have if they each set targets themselves", says Altmaier. According to the Minister of Environment Svenja Schulze (SPD), the companies have saved "an average of 5,000 tons of CO2 per year". This number showed the high value of an industry wide exchange including many different businesses, Altmaier added. "The unconventional instrument has arrived in business," concluded BDI President Dieter Kempf.
Monitoring: 2020 targets are achievable
The initiative is part of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan launched by the German government in 2014. It supports voluntary, joint implementation of energy efficiency measures among companies within a region or industry. Networks of companies with several production sites or branches are also possible. The aim of the initiative is to create 500 such networks by 2020 and to save around 20.8 trillion kWh of primary energy or 5 million tons of greenhouse gases.
adelphi and Fraunhofer ISI will assess the Plan’s performance in an accompanying monitoring and evaluation process. To do this, they will collect all information on energy efficiency measures taken by companies, and eventually measures taken by all networks participating in IEEN will be recorded. The aggregated results from this process will be summarised and published in annual reports.
For the first monitoring and evaluation report, adelphi and Fraunhofer ISI were able to evaluate data from 21 networks in which 253 companies participated. They implemented 1,051 measures, of which 865 are quantifiable. Accordingly, the companies achieved savings of 248.9 million kWh of final energy, 357.9 million kWh of primary energy and 105,800 tons of CO2 per year. An extrapolation from the first round of monitoring’s results shows that the targets set for 2020 "can be achieved by 440 to 500 networks", according to the report.
Large companies over-represented with 51 percent
According to the information gathered, a typical network consists of nine to twelve companies, has a duration of 24 to 29 months and is cross-sectoral. Almost half of the networks are located within the federal states of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. The average saving of a network amounts to 11.9 million kWh final energy, 17 million kWh primary energy and 5,000 tons CO2 per year. The report also shows that large companies are overrepresented by 51 percent. The most frequently occurring are the food and tobacco industries as well as that of metal production.
The average final energy saving total per company is 984,000 kWh per year. The most frequently implemented measures were lighting (32 percent), followed by heating and hot water (10 percent), compressed air (7 percent) and motors and drives (7 percent). 83 percent of the measures related to replacement of existing technologies and electricity consumption. According to the report, combined heat and power generation proved to be the measure with the greatest energy savings.