Energy Efficiency in Industry – Findings From Practice

Article in BWK Energie, Issue 3/4 2021

Against the backdrop of the energy audit obligation that has been in force since 2015 and the climate policy goals of the German government, increasing energy efficiency has become and will remain essential. The role of industry in this, and whether potentials have already been exhausted, are examined below based on an evaluation of 57 energy audits.

Relevance of an Energy Audit

Since the amended “Law on Energy Services and Other Energy Efficiency Measures” (EDL-G) came into force at the beginning of 2015, a large number of companies were obliged to carry out an energy audit based on the DIN EN 16247-1 standard for the first time. Since then, a corresponding energy audit must be repeated every four years. According to the text of the law, only small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and companies that already have a certified energy management system in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001 are exempt from the regulation. Laws at the national level, such as the German EDL-G or Austria’s Federal Energy Efficiency Act (EEffG), are intended to contribute to the European savings target under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) of reducing primary energy consumption in the EU by 32.5% by 2030 compared with the consumption forecast in 2007. In addition, all EU member states are bound to an annual energy saving of 0.8 %.

General Conditions

In the attached article (only available in German), a total of 57 energy audits are subjected to analysis. The audits were carried out by the Forschungsgesellschaft für Energiewirtschaft mbH from 2018 to 2020 in Germany and Austria. The identified measures, as well as a corresponding savings potential, are principally assigned to the following categories: Lighting, Compressed Air, Electrical/Mechanical Energy, Energy Carrier Change, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Process Cooling, Space Heating, Process Heating, Transportation, and Other.

In the following, the results refer exclusively to the data basis that was collected in the course of the energy audits carried out. The evaluations do not claim to be nationally representative.

Figure 1: Identified savings potential for electricity per application area