American study confirms: Germany is world champion in efficiency

Germany is the world champion in energy efficiency: this is the outcome of a study conducted by the Washington-based American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Germany comes in first in the ranking, ahead of all other major industrial nations.

Chart showing the top 16 most energy efficient countries, lead by Germany© Chart: ACEE / BMWi; Data: ACEE

In the overall ranking for 2014, 65 of 100 possible points put Germany in the lead ahead of Italy, the European Union, China and France (tied for 4th place), Japan, and the United Kingdom and Spain (tied for 6th). The USA ranks 13th, just ahead of the tail-enders Russia, Brazil and Mexico. The survey examined the energy consumption of the world's 16 largest economies. Altogether, these countries represent 71 per cent of global energy consumption, the study reports.

The scorecard is based on an analysis of energy efficiency in a total of 31 categories, which in turn are consolidated into four dimensions: buildings, industry and transportation as the sectors primarily responsible for energy consumption, and a cross-cutting indicator (= national effort). The executive summary of the study emphasises especially Germany's activities and achievements in the industrial sector.

The analysis evaluated both political/strategic metrics (such as national energy-efficiency targets) and performance indicators such as average energy consumption per square foot of floor space in residential buildings.

Germany sees this as validation of the success of its energy-efficiency policy, but also as an incentive to strive for further improvements. "Germany has already achieved a lot in the field of energy efficiency, but we still need to do a lot more. Because: without energy efficiency there can be no Energy Transition," Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel admits.