Green Visions Merkel's Masterplan for a German Energy Revolution

A German wind farm in the North Sea.
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A German wind farm in the North Sea.

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Part 6: Consumption -- More Building Refurbishment and Improved Energy Efficiency


Germany has ample potential for making energy savings. The government wants to provide financial incentives, information and advice to encourage companies and private consumers to use that potential.

Building Refurbishment

Buildings account for some 40 percent of German power consumption and around a third of Germany's CO2 emissions. A high proportion of buildings are so old that they do not come under energy savings requirements laid down in the 1970s, so the scope to reduce power and heating usage is tremendous.

The government wants all buildings in Germany to be refurbished in line with new insulation standards by 2050. It wants to cut the national heating requirement by 20 percent by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050. It also wants to significantly increase the share renewable energies have in heating, for example through solar heating.

Making Industry More Efficient

Recent studies show Germany could save €10 billion ($12.7 billion) per year just by boosting energy efficiency. The government has high hopes for energy efficiency systems that enable companies to save power. Here too it plans to offer financial incentives. From 2013 on it will only allow tax relief on energy taxes if companies make a contribution to energy savings. It also plans to offer development programs in this area for the small and medium-sized business sector.

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