Germany most energy efficient nation

Jul 17, 2014
Wind turbines stand next to a house near Husum, northern Germany on September 20, 2010

Germany is the world's most energy efficient nation with strong codes on buildings while China is quickly stepping up its own efforts, an environmental group said Thursday.

The study of 16 major economies by the Washington-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranked Mexico last and voiced concern about the pace of efforts by the United States and Australia.

The council gave Germany the top score as it credited Europe's largest economy for its mandatory codes on residential and commercial buildings as it works to meet a goal of reducing by 20 percent by 2020 from 2008 levels.

"We are pleased to win a second title in a week's time," Philipp Ackermann, the deputy chief of mission at the German embassy in Washington, told a conference call, alluding to his country's World Cup victory.

Echoing the views of the report's authors, Ackermann pointed out that Germany has achieved economic growth while improving efficiency and reducing harmful environmental effects of the energy trade.

"We all agree , I think—the cheapest energy is the energy you don't have to produce in the first place," Ackermann said.

"Our long-term goal is to fully decouple from energy use," he said.

The study ranked Italy second, pointing to its efficiency in transportation, and ranked the European Union as a whole third. China and France were tied for fourth place, followed by Britain and Japan.

The report found that China used less energy per square foot than any other country, even if enforcement of building codes is not always rigorous.

"There's a lot more China can do, they do waste a lot of energy as well, but they really are making quite a bit of progress," said Steven Nadel, the council's executive director.

The study found a "clear backward trend" in Australia, where Prime Minister Tony Abbott is skeptical about the science on climate change. Earlier Thursday, Australia abolished a controversial carbon tax.

Australia was ranked 10th, with the council praising the country's efforts on building construction and manufacturing but placing it last on in transportation.

The study ranked the United States in 13th place, saying that the world's largest economy has made progress but on a national level still wastes a "tremendous" amount of energy.

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User comments : 12

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holoman
4 / 5 (6) Jul 18, 2014
No surprise here.

Germany is always inventing and researching on the bleeding edge !

Pexeso
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 18, 2014
The question is, if the energy required for mining and production of raw source materials has been considered As this article point outs clearly, a shift to renewable energy will just replace one non-renewable resource (fossil fuel) with another (metals and minerals). Also, most of electricity production in Germany gets buffered with neighboring countries - it replaces the need of battery.
antialias_physorg
4.8 / 5 (6) Jul 18, 2014
Germany is always inventing and researching on the bleeding edge

There's always a bit of a gap between research/invention and getting something widely adopted. I'm really positively surprised that the regulation worked in this case*
It's a good indication that the changeover (Energiewende) is not just a half hearted effort to placate voters when such low key efforts are taken seriously.

*As with any sweeping regulation you'll find singular cases where there are unwanted side effects. Some houses were insulated too well, leading to mold problems (due to lack of air exchange). But this is being worked out.

Contrasting these two
(Ackermann) "I think—the cheapest energy is the energy you don't have to produce in the first place,"
...

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is skeptical about the science on climate change

Guess who doesn't want his friends in the coal business to lose revenue...
Bob_Wallace
4.8 / 5 (5) Jul 18, 2014
"most of electricity production in Germany gets buffered with neighboring countries - it replaces the need of battery"

Europe is morphing into one large grid. All European countries use or will use each other's supplies and demands as a way to minimize storage needs. Large grid is a very important tool in avoiding the cost of both storage and dispatchable generation.

Read up on E-Highway 2050.

DoieaS
1 / 5 (3) Jul 18, 2014
Large grid is a very important tool in avoiding the cost of both storage
During winter, night and still whether all production of solar and wind plants must be backed with classical coal and nuclear plants anyway. The grid cannot redistribute an energy, which just isn't available in a given moment.
Mike_Massen
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 19, 2014
Pexeso/otero offered 2 links, the first failed but, he still uttered
..a shift to renewable energy will just replace one non-renewable resource (fossil fuel) with another (metals and minerals)...
Why are you pretending to confuse consumables with fixed infrastructure - hmmm ?

Both fossil fuel & renewables tend to use same materials; Steel, copper, aluminium, sand etc.

Which do you prefer Pexeso/otero ?

1. Fixed Infrastructure that consumes non-renewable fossil fuels & pollutes long term.

OR

2. Fixed Infrastructure that utilises limitless insolation & does not pollute.

Pexeso/otero went on
..most of electricity production in Germany gets buffered with neighboring countries..
Thats great news, it means less infrastructure; Steel, copper, aluminium & sand, thanks for that its obviously a good thing.

Now to extend that across day/night time zones we are on a fantastic path :-)

What could possibly be wrong with that in conjunction with option 2 above Pexeso/otero ?
Whydening Gyre
2.5 / 5 (4) Jul 19, 2014
No surprise here.

Germany is always inventing and researching on the bleeding edge !

One of the reasons I like being of German descent...:-)
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Jul 20, 2014
Well... downvoted for being of German descent....

Bigots.
DoieaS
1 / 5 (2) Jul 20, 2014
Germany is no way most energy efficient nation (in per-capita GDP measure).
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Jul 20, 2014
Doiea.
Please explain your problem with persons of German descent?
My great grandfather was in the Czar's Army. On the Maternal side there is a bit of Scottish, too.
Problem with that, as well?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Jul 20, 2014
During winter, night and still whether all production of solar and wind plants must be backed with classical coal and nuclear plants anyway.

You can back it up with methane from biomass. Even if you want to back it up with fossil gas powerplants: having those run 10 days a year until viable storage solutions are built is infinitely preferrable to having such contraptions running 24/365.
Captain Stumpy
not rated yet Jul 20, 2014
Germany is no way http://theecologi...8847.gif (in per-capita GDP measure).
@zephir
your data source and note proclaim the graph to be from 2009, which is historical and may have been accurate THEN, but this is 2014. also ,FROM the article
The council gave Germany the top score as it credited Europe's largest economy for its mandatory codes on residential and commercial buildings as it works to meet a goal of reducing energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020 from 2008 levels
notice it says FROM 2008 LEVELS...

So we CAN conclude that the information in the ARTICLE is more RECENT than your source graph, which is from 2009.
Therefore we can also extrapolate from the information that Germany has IMPROVED GREATLY since 2008-2009 time frame.
Pexeso/otero offered 2 links
@Mike_Massen
Pexeso/otero/DoieaS = Zephir