With the adoption of the Climate Protection Act in 2019, Germany has made its climate protection targets binding. In 2021, an amendment to this law moved the goal of climate neutrality forward from 2050 to 2045. As a result, sectoral emission pathways have tightened – industry must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from 182 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2021 to 118 million tonnes in 2030. Increasing energy efficiency plays a key role here, as is evident in the Energy Efficiency Strategy 2050, adopted in 2019. In addition to cross-sectoral action, e.g. the introduction of CO2 pricing in non-ETS sectors, the strategy also lists 13 sector-specific energy efficiency measures for industry.
In addition to the regulatory, market-based and fiscal measures, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWi) and 21 industry associations have agreed to the voluntary policy instrument of efficiency networks. Launched in 2021, the Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection Networks (IEEKN) initiative evolved from the previous Energy Efficiency Networks (IEEN) initiative, which ended in 2020. The basic principle from the the first phase has been preserved: different companies form a network and support each other in achieving their self-imposed savings targets over a time horizon of two to three years. In the second phase, the network widened its focus from pure energy efficiency to climate protection measures. This offers networks and participating companies much more leeway to achieve their targets within the framework of the initiative.
adelphi and Fraunhofer ISI helped develop the monitoring concept for the second phase of the initiative. The BMWi also tasked them with the monitoring of the initiative between 2022 and 2025. On the one hand, the monitoring process will confirm that the registered networks are operated according to the specifications of the initiative. On the other, it will document the network progress, including the implemented measures and the achieved energy and GHG savings. The project will also verify whether or not the goals of the initiative have been achieved. The goals in the second phase of the initiative include establishing 300 to 350 networks and the achieving savings of nine to eleven terawatt hours (TWh) of energy and five to six million tonnes of CO2 equivalents. In this project, adelphi and Fraunhofer ISI can build on their experience with the monitoring the first phase of the initiative in the years 2018 to 2021.