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The energy efficiency is the second mainstay of the energy turnaround. It is defined as the reduction of the energy input for the provision of a service, for the production of goods or the provision of energy1.

The energy efficiency helps to minimise the costs and protect the environment. If, for example, the consumption of electricity decreased by ten percent until 2020 in the European area by increasing the energy efficiency in the economy, the CO2 emissions could be reduced by nine million tonnes. Consequently, it would also be possible to reduce the costs for coal and gas imports for the production of electricity by approx 1.2 billion euros2. 

The areas of application of the lead market Energy efficiency are summarised in the following figure.

Considerable potential for energy saving exists in almost all sectors of the economy, in the building sector as well as in the industrial sector. It is aimed at achieving energy savings in the industrial sector regarding the provision of energy, the energy use in the process and the controlled emission of the unused energy by optimising the processes, but also by using new procedures3. The key element for increasing the energy efficiency could be, for example, the use of the waste heat in cleaning processes in the cosmetics and food industry. The replacement or the use of inefficient pumps, e.g. in water resources management or in the building services engineering, is particularly worthwhile. Here, for example, very high energy savings can be achieved by replacing the old pump in a dwelling unit (electricity consumption 140 watts) by a new, more efficient heating pump (electricity consumption 7 watts). This way, an energy saving of 95 % can be achieved. As a result, the acquisition costs are already amortised over 2 years4. Further energy-saving opportunities are offered by the use of innovative and energy-saving LED lighting systems and household appliances. The energy-efficient renovation of buildings (energy-efficient urban regeneration), the use and further expansion of the cogeneration of heat and power, the increase of the share of the renewable energies in the heating market and the construction of passive and plus energy houses  offer great potential5. Furthermore, less electricity consumption involves that less grids are available or have to be built for the electricity transmission6.

More information about the Cleantech-lead market energy efficiency:

Energy efficiency in the new federal states of Germany



1Ifeu – institut für Energie und Umweltforschung
2AGORA Studie
4DW Rubrik Wissen & Umwelt,
5Passivhaus – der überwiegende Teil des Wärmebedarfs wird von "passiven" Quellen wie Sonneneinstrahlung und Abwärme bereitgestellt. Ein Plusenergiehaus hat normalerweise positive jährlichen Energiebilanz