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Scientists with lithium ion battery production line in battery research facility 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.

How Germany is converting industrial heat into electricity

Germany is home to a lot of heavy industry that generates high-temperature process heat. An estimated 45 percent of it is simply lost in the atmosphere. Germany is moving towards climate neutrality and heat recovery is playing a crucial role, as wasted heat can be converted into electricity. Some solutions are already being used and the demand for waste heat recovery is constantly growing.


Testimonial: Anke Fröbel, Managing Director - Willbee Energy GmbH

Anke Fröbel, Managing Director, Willbee Energy GmbH Anke Fröbel, Managing Director, Willbee Energy GmbH | © Willbee Energy GmbH/GTAI

"As a provider of energy-efficiency services we decided to enter Germany – the largest economy in Europe. With its strong industry and ambitious climate policies, the country represents a strategic market for us. The huge number of energy-intensive companies in Germany provides a major opportunity for our energy auditing, engineering and metering services.” (2019)

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 a lot of potential in Germany.

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

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.

Read more (German)

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