• Germany's news in English

Germany tops table for energy efficiency

The Local · 18 Jul 2014, 14:42

Published: 18 Jul 2014 14:42 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The International Energy Efficiency Scorecard put out by a Washington-based non-profit organization named Germany the undisputed champions of energy conservation on Thursday.

This year, Germany overtook the UK, which ranked highest in 2013. Italy came in second place in 2014, while China and France shared fourth place. The USA trailed far behind in 13th.

The annual rankings from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy rate energy efficiency practices using 31 measures in 16 of the world's largest economies.

The report's ranking system looked at energy use, energy savings targets, fuel economy standards for vehicles and energy efficiency standards for appliances to come up with the rankings.

Henning Ellermann, an energy efficiency expert at Germany Trade & Invest was not surprised by his country's favourable ranking. "Germany has been pushing this topic for about three to four decades and was one of the earliest in the field," he told The Local.

Ellermann credited the German mindset for the success. "Getting people to save energy in Germany is not a hard sell," he said.

Among the measurements, the report lauded Germany's plan to reduce primary energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020, and 50 percent by 2050, based on levels in 2008.

"Germany has a strong energy efficiency strategy built into a much larger framework," Ellerman said. "And this makes it much easier for these efforts to succeed."

The council awarded the country first place for energy efficiency in the industrial sector, where the government has mandatory codes on both residential and commercial buildings.

Such requirements have opened the door to energy-efficiency companies looking to gain a presence in Germany. Ellermann mentioned an increase in businesses working in non-traditional energy efficiency sectors, like IT.

"Right now we are seeing a lot of data driven and IT driven ideas in home and building efficiency,” he said.

Energiewende blows cold?

German consumers, meanwhile, appear increasingly critical of the country’s switch to green energy, known as the Energiewende, according to a study released on Friday.

The GfK Global Green Index, a study into consumers’ attitudes, found Germans are losing patience with high energy bills brought about by the switch to green energy.

Story continues below…

Less than half (46 percent) of Germans said they were prepared to accept higher energy bills as a price for the switch, down from 56 percent when Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the Energiewende in 2011.

Among the over 65s, support has fallen from 64 percent to 40 percent over the last three years, GfK said.

Willingness to see new power lines and grids put up, a necessary step for the Energiewende to succeed, has also declined from 75 percent in 2011 to 62 percent in 2014.

SEE ALSO: Germany produces half of energy with solar

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd