Energy efficiency first! This is the motto of the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, having shown in recent years that strong, sustainable economic growth is possible while focussing on energy efficiency and transitioning from traditional energy supply to renewable sources.
The Green Paper sets out key questions and assumptions regarding the major challenges and possible action to reduce energy consumption in the long term.
Federal Minister Gabriel said:
“In the context of the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE), we have earmarked a total of 17 billion euros for the period 2016-2020 for programmes to improve energy efficiency, thus highlighting for the first time the central role that energy efficiency deserves.”
“This is a great success. However, in order to achieve the targets of the energy transition by 2050, we must continue to make use of every opportunity to enhance energy efficiency. We do not need to produce, store, transmit and pay for the energy that we save. This is why the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency raises the key question of how we can lastingly increase prosperity and at the same time reduce the energy consumption needed for this.”
The Green Paper is the beginning of a consultation process with the aim of a medium-term to long-term strategy for the reduction of energy consumption in Germany.
The key questions and assumptions set out in the Green Paper serve to focus the dialogue on the major aspects in five fields of action:
- Efficiency First,
- further development of the instruments,
- European energy efficiency policies,
- sector coupling,
- and digitisation.
The consultation process consists of the following elements:
- Online consultation: all interested citizens and all stakeholders have the opportunity to submit their comments on the Ministry’s Green Paper [by 31 October 2016];
- Energy Transition ‘Energy Efficiency’ Platform: discussion of the Green Paper with the participants of the Energy Transition ‘Energy Efficiency’ and ‘Building’ Platforms;
- Regional events on the Green Paper; more information will follow.
Photo credit: “www.colourbox.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from The German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI).