In order to meet its ambition of reducing its economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 80% in 2050 (relative to 1990 levels), Germany has set aggressive long-term goals to reduce primary energy consumption 50% by 2050 and to reduce power consumption 10% by 2020 and 25% by 2050. Meeting these goals will require aggressive investment in end-use energy efficiency, particularly in electric end-uses in all sectors of the economy. However, until now, no comprehensive study to determine the value of such efficiency savings, and thereby the effects on the power sector of such investments, had been performed. For this reason, Agora Energiewende, the European Climate Foundation (ECF), and the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) commissioned a study to examine the issue.
The study reveals the value, in terms of reductions in total power sector costs, from investment in end-use energy efficiency in Germany’s homes and businesses. Four savings scenarios were analyzed, all of which yielded significant reductions in the total costs of generation (both conventional and renewable) and of transmission and distribution infrastructure over the 2014-2050 timeframe. These cost savings represent the benefit, or value, of end-use energy efficiency to the German electricity sector. This study did not attempt to determine whether those savings can be acquired at a total cost that is less than their value - further analysis will be needed for that - but other studies that examine the cost of end-use energy efficiency measures and programs in Germany strongly suggest that the savings described here can be cost-effectively achieved.