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In terms of energy efficiency, the federal government's goal is to shape the German economy into the most energy-efficient economy in the world and to drastically reduce primary energy consumption by 2050.

In order to achieve this goal, the German government adopted the Energy Efficiency Strategy 2050 (EffSTRA) on December 18, 2019. With the Energy Efficiency Strategy 2050, the Federal Government is for the first time also setting an intermediate target for reducing primary energy consumption by 2030, bundling appropriate measures and initiating a broad-based stakeholder process to further develop energy efficiency policy. The strategy sets the course for more energy efficiency in Germany and makes an important contribution to the implementation of energy and climate policy goals at national and European level. The energy efficiency strategy 2050 is based on three elements:

A national energy efficiency target for 2030

Primary energy consumption is expected to decrease by 30 percent by 2030 (compared to 2008). This corresponds to a consumption reduction of around 1,200 terawatt hours (TWh) or roughly the current consumption of the Netherlands and Austria together. With this goal, Germany is also making an ambitious and disproportionate contribution to achieving the EU efficiency target for 2030.

A new National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE 2.0)

With a National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE), the Federal Government launched a comprehensive package of measures in 2014 to better exploit the potential for energy efficiency in Germany. The focus here was on expanding the range of information and advice, the targeted and innovative promotion of efficiency investments based on established standards for new systems and new buildings or, for example, the obligation of large companies to carry out energy audits.

However, the consumption reductions achieved to date must be stepped up in order to achieve the energy efficiency targets set for 2030 and 2050. Existing energy efficiency potential must be used even better. For this reason, the Energy Efficiency Strategy 2050 bundles a large number of effective efficiency measures for the decade 2021-2030 in the new National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE 2.0). NAPE 2.0 and the Climate Protection Program 2030 are closely linked. Because the majority of the measures to reduce energy consumption also lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The NAPE 2.0 takes into account the demand side of the energy system and expands the previous efficiency policy. The tax incentives for energetic building renovation introduced at the beginning of 2020 create noticeable incentives for more energy efficiency in residential buildings. In addition, the existing building subsidy programs have been bundled, further developed and simplified with the federal subsidy for efficient buildings (BEG) since January 2021. For all funding programs in the field of energy efficiency, the Federal Ministry of Economics will provide an average of around 6 billion euros annually for the next four years. In addition, the entry into the national emissions trading system in the heating and transport sector represents an important paradigm shift. Since the beginning of 2021, the CO2-Emissions from the use of fossil heating and fuel are priced so that consumption and greenhouse gas emissions should decrease in the future.

In addition, with NAPE 2.0 there are additional measures that help the economy and consumers to make investment decisions for more energy efficiency. This concerns, for example, the strengthening of energy saving contracting, the development of innovative financing offers and the further development of energy efficiency networks in which companies exchange their successful approaches to increasing energy efficiency.

The implementation of NAPE 2.0 is accompanied by an annual monitoring to check success.

A roadmap for energy efficiency 2050

With the strategy, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is also initiating a broad-based stakeholder process “Roadmap Energy Efficiency 2050”. Together with associations from business and civil society, the federal states and representatives of science, ways of drastically reducing primary energy consumption by 2050 are being analyzed and specific measures are being developed by 2030 and 2050.

The kick-off event for the Energy Efficiency 2050 Roadmap took place on May 26, 2020. Six working groups were set up on the subjects of industry, buildings, transport, qualifications / skilled workers, digitization and system-related issues. The working groups meet on average every six months and present their results for discussion on the energy transition platform energy efficiency.

The dialogue process is set to run for 2 ½ years and should be completed in October 2022. The results lead to a final paper that analyzes political, economic and legal challenges and shows specific options for action and solutions for achieving the 2050 target. Their effects on various groups of actors (including consumers, suppliers) are particularly taken into account. The work of the roadmap process can be monitored via the website.

As part of the roadmap, the energy transition platform energy efficiency will also be continued, in which the federal government has been developing new strategies for increasing energy efficiency in Germany with the relevant stakeholders since 2014. Specific proposals for the further development of the efficiency policy, for example in the areas of finance, law and advice, are discussed in working groups. You can find out more about the work in the article on the energy transition platform for energy efficiency.