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.

Latest GTAI industrial energy efficiency news

October 2018: German SMEs Investing More in Energy Efficiency
October 2018: German Energy Agency Inaugurates First Heat Recovery Flagship Project
August 2018: Sixth Round for Competitive Electrical Efficiency Funding Program
July 2018: Record German Govt R&D Funding for Energy Efficiency in Industry
July 2018: New waste heat atlas for Frankfurt
July 2018: R&D project on industrial waste heat storage launched
July 2018: Successful first year for innovative heat networks funding program
June 2018: German retailers launch efficiency and climate protection initiative
June 2018: German energy efficiency market expected to grow at average 9.1% p.a.
April 2018: Fifth round for competitive electrical efficiency program underway
April 2018: Strong impact of KfW funding program on energy efficiency in production
March 2018: German market for energy services estimated to have reached EUR 9 billion in 2016
March 2018: Framework scenario for grid expansion in Germany
March 2018: District heating from waste incineration
January 2018: Results of first call for tenders for cogeneration plants
January 2018: Successful year for Thuringian industrial energy efficiency funding program
December 2017: Construction starts on major waste heat utilization project in Hamburg
October 24th, 2017: Energy storage in salt being piloted in Berlin power station
October 24th, 2017: German network agency publishes first call for tenders for cogeneration plants
October 19th, 2017: Germany’s “first Power-to-Heat / Power-to-Cool system” enters service
October 2017: Even better funding for waste heat avoidance or utilization
August 2017: Federal fuel cell incentive program expanded to include commercial buildings
August 2017: Germany launches funding for innovative pilot heat networks
July 2017: Vattenfall announces Germany’s largest power-to-heat system
July 2017: Germany’s energy efficiency branch growing despite lower energy costs
June 2017: New funding strategy for energy efficiency and renewable heating published
May 2017: Ministry publishes draft CHP auction legislation
April 2017: Competitive electrical efficiency program enters third round
March 2017: Record KfW energy efficiency funding in 2016

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.


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