From merely "laudable" to compulsory: All major enterprises in Germany which have so far failed to implement a certified Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) will be required to do so by December 5, 2015. In the future there will be a corresponding audit every four years. The new rule is just part of Germany’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (German acronym: NAPE) ‒ a strategy with which the German government plans to achieve its objectives within the context of the country’s “Energy Transition” program. Apart from a series of immediate measures to be implemented in 2015, NAPE also covers long-term processes.
One example is the so-called national top-runners campaign, in which high-quality products and services which contribute to reduced energy consumption are to be brought to market more quickly. This program is intended to motivate above all industry to adopt more efficient processes and technologies along the entire supply chain.
The federal government is also working for a sustained reduction of energy consumption by motivating companies to become members of efficiency networks. But will this suffice? Sceptics are demanding the setting of compulsory energy conservation targets instead. For now, Angela Merkel’s government intends to rely on education and good will: Under the guidance of an energy consultant, companies are to share information, set conservation targets and implement them. A key objective is to reinforce companies’ own sense of responsibility. The program aims for the creation of 500 networks by the year 2020.
Raising the potential of Indian industry
But the German government’s commitment transcends its own national boundaries: Since 2003 the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has sponsored an Indo-German energy program, in which Germany and India have jointly set standards for sectors of industry, as well as for household appliances and equipment with a high rate of energy consumption. This program is intended to wake up consumers as well as industry. And with some success: Over the past 12 years private enterprise in India has invested more than 400 million euros annually in measures for improved efficiency. In the meantime the savings amount to some 300 million euros per annum.
Vietnam: Too little energy to go around?
Rapid economic growth and a higher standard of living have led to a sharp increase in energy consumption in Vietnam over the past few years. Experts are already predicting a doubling of this amount by 2020. To cover that growing need, the country has been issuing clear guidelines for the last nine years. Since 2013, for example, all light bulbs need to carry a label informing clients of the product’s energy consumption. But in the cement, ceramics and textile industry there is still much room for improvement. Although isolated energy management systems are already available in Vietnam, companies there are reacting haltingly. Germany has already reacted to this situation by bringing consultants and solutions providers together in a special Energy Efficiency Export Initiative .