Energy efficiency in industry

Scientists with lithium ion battery production line in battery research facility | © Monty Rakusen, Getty Images

Energy efficiency in industry

Germany is Europe’s manufacturing powerhouse and consistently emphasizes energy efficiency in industrial production. Although among the most efficient in the world, German industry has massive untapped potential for investment in energy efficient production processes and technology. This translates into a substantial business opportunity for service and technology providers.

Germany’s favorable government policy, generous incentives, conducive energy price environment, and a culture that values sustainability have helped create a thriving market for energy efficiency products and services.

Industrial heat recovery, ORC, and heat storage

German industry releases more than 200 TWh in waste heat every year. That’s more than the total annual energy consumption of Denmark. Germany’s many cement works, glass factories, and steel works create large amounts of high-temperature process heat. The country also offers extremely generous federal incentives, meaning manufacturers of heat exchangers, large-scale heat storage, and ORC (heat-to-power) systems will find an extremely market in Germany.

Energy consumption in German industry | © Fraunhofer ISI, September 2016

Incentive: Industrial heat recovery

KfW development bank – 294 “Energy Efficiency Program – Waste Heat”

Germany’s KfW development bank has an extremely attractive incentive program that finances measures for waste heat avoidance and/or waste heat utilization. The program provides low-interest loans (up to €25 million and 100% of eligible costs) from the KfW development bank and attractive repayment grants financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) for e.g.:

  • Company-internal avoidance and utilization of waste heat;
  • Company-external utilization of waste heat;
  • Electricity generation from waste heat;
  • Waste heat concepts, implementation management, and controlling.

The size of the repayment grant awarded depends on the measures taken, the size of the company, and a number of other conditions. In certain cases, a repayment grant of up to 30% of the eligible investment costs is granted. A repayment grant of up to 40% is granted in certain cases where there are costs for a heat transmission line to third parties. There is a bonus of up to 10% for SMEs under certain conditions.
Only the information published on the KfW website has legal validity. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Energy efficiency networks

500 energy efficiency networks will be established in Germany by 2021. To date, 21 industry association and business organizations are involved, alongside the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The networks facilitate the systematic and bureaucratic exchange of experience and ideas, normally between 8 and 15 companies with the aim of improving energy efficiency within 2-3 years.


Robert Compton Robert Compton | © GTAI/Illing & Vossbeck Fotografie

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