How energy-efficient is the production in German industry today? The Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production (EEP) at the University of Stuttgart is publishing the energy efficiency index of the German industry for the first time in cooperation with the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI), the German Energy Agency (dena) and TÜV Rheinland (certification company). It throws a light on the current situation in terms of energy efficiency in industry and casts a glance at the future. The new index will now be published online every half year. The result of the first survey round: too little investment – too high demands regarding amortisation periods – insufficient budgets.
“The results of the first energy efficiency index show what valuable contribution the foundation institute for energy efficiency in production is already making now at the University of Stuttgart in terms of enlightenment and consultation in the important field of energy“, according to Prof. Wolfram Ressel, Rector of the University of Stuttgart. “Through the research in this central area of the university and through the close cooperation of research and teaching with the industry, we will be able to offer successful solution approaches for the social challenge of the future.“
Investments in energy efficiency are frequently highly profitable. Yet the German industry is still investing far too little. Most of the questioned companies have no fixed budget for efficiency measures. “Those responsible are well aware of the great significance and the economic potential of energy efficiency measures, yet the required amortisation period of three to a maximum of five years does not nearly suffice“, according to Prof. Thomas Bauernhansl, Head of the Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production at the University of Stuttgart. The current evaluation of the survey has resulted in companies calculating on the basis of the Total-Cost-of-Ownership-Method investing far more in energy efficiency measures than those companies that are only interested in their annual balance sheets.
“Now politics is very clearly called upon“, according to Heinz Dürr, one of the two founders and the first chairman of the advisory board of EEP. “In the Coalition Agreement of the Federal Government, energy efficiency is right at the top of the agenda; it is described as the second pillar of a sustainable energy turnaround. There is even a “National Action Plan Energy Efficiency“. But without concrete funding tools for relevant investments, we are not making progress quickly enough with the energy turnaround; the first evaluation of the index clearly shows this. What we rapidly need now are political framework instruments, such as special depreciation possibilities and funding specific to the industry for energy efficiency measures.“
The new index will supply half-yearly benchmarking data for producing companies with the aim of giving politics regular feedback on the situation in the producing industry in Germany. Ultimately, a need for action in terms of research can be derived from the data.
Figures and results from the first survey in brief:
- The topic of energy efficiency has a high significance throughout all economic sectors
- Only 15% of the companies questioned state that the topic of energy efficiency currently has little significance and 42% of those questioned estimate the topic to be highly significant.
- 54% of the companies anticipate an increasing significance of the topic in the future
- BUT partly low investments in increasing energy efficiency.
- Investments in the field of energy efficiency tend to be rather on the decline in future
- 63% of the companies invest at most 5% of their total investments in energy efficiency
- In spite of the low investments in efficiency, declining energy consumptions are anticipated across all economic sectors
- An amortisation period of on average 30 months is demanded across all economic sectors for energy efficient machines. These demands are too high
- The investments and proceeds for and through energy efficiency measures could be increased through extending the machine amortisation periods
- 86% of the companies know their approaches to increase energy efficiency, however over 90% of the companies has no fixed budget for implementing the efficiency measures.
- 80% of the companies plan to reduce their energy consumption in future by a maximum of 5% and only 4% wish to reduce this consumption by more than 10%
Although potentials, possibilities and success prospects are known to the companies, activities and aims to increase energy efficiency are limited and remain too few. Compared to the actual potentials, the aims are not ambitious enough by far.