Analysis of a new support scheme for energy efficiency investments for industry in Germany

Panel: 5. Business models, finance and investment in the age of digitalisation

Tina Flegel, Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle, Germany


Organizations that individually use significant amounts of energy either because of their size or because they use energy for manufacturing still have ample opportunities to undertake energy efficiency measures.

To support their investment into energy efficiency, originally, various support schemes with very concrete elements (e.g. engines, process innovation, energy management) targeted various defined sub-groups among those organisations (e.g. SMEs, manufacturing industry, certain types of municipal companies) with different support mechanisms (e.g. de-minimis grants or grants in accordance to the EU regulation 651/2014, subsidized loans or competitions with an array of special conditions). The support schemes differed in their incorporation of intermediaries, energy service companies and efficiency services providers, and in the way they are linked to existing support schemes for the range of energy services the German market offers.

Funding authorities noted that the outflow of funds had to be increased through heightened activity in order to reach energy efficiency goals. Market research shows that there was and is a significant need for the funding of investment in energy efficiency measures and of energy efficiency services that support the development and implementation of economically viable energy efficiency projects to fully realize the energy savings potential in the commercial and public sector. Policy evaluations have indicated that the energy efficiency projects that exist in reality rarely fit the boxes that had been created by support schemes over the years.

This paper introduces the new support scheme for investments in energy efficiency for industry, commerce and municipalities and links its development to empirical research. It emphasizes the new approach that integrates energy services and intermediaries into the holistic investment support scheme.


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