Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Towards a green economy in Germany? The role of energy efficiency policies

Available online 26 March 2016


This paper reviews the latest energy efficiency policies of Germany.
We find tangible energy, climate and socioeconomic impacts by 2020.
Notably the building sector stands to benefit economically.
A ‘green energy economy’ needs to build on ambitious energy efficiency policies.


Energy efficiency policies play a key role in the transformation to a ‘green energy economy’. In this paper, we take stock of the impacts of the existing energy efficiency policy instruments in Germany and review the energy, environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the country’s latest energy efficiency and climate strategies for the year 2020. We find evidence supporting the findings of other studies that enhanced green energy policies will trigger tangible economic benefits in terms of GDP growth and new jobs even in the short term. Whereas policy makers have already acknowledged and implemented this conclusion in the case of renewable energies, our paper shows that striving for more ambitious energy efficiency policies represents a similar win–win strategy, which should be exploited to a much larger extent.


  • Germany;
  • Energy efficiency;
  • Policy measures;
  • Bottom-up analysis;
  • Socioeconomic impacts
Corresponding author.