Germany’s largest source of energy is wasted

Status: 22.06.2022 6:13 p.m

In many companies, energy is wasted on a massive scale because it used to be comparatively cheap. A lot of money could be saved with smart technology and investments in more efficient production.

In the Saarland Bosch plant in Homburg, millions of injectors for truck diesel engines are manufactured every year. A control system was developed at the plant that precisely records the energy consumption of machines. Homburg thus assumes a leading role within the Bosch Group. Engineer Gerhard Stopp controls the current power consumption in production. 12,000 data points can be checked and analyzed daily in the factory to save energy.

Engineer Stopp found what he was looking for in many places and set the plant to save energy. Machines are automatically switched off when not in use, heating and ventilation are adjusted to the number of people in the hall. A total of eleven million euros have already been saved in this way. Internationally, Bosch has already installed 90,000 measuring devices in its plants.

High losses when using the primary energy

For most bulk consumers with their negotiated special prices, saving has apparently hardly been worthwhile so far. As waste heat alone, gigantic amounts of energy are uselessly blown into the air every year.

Only just under 70 percent of primary energy actually reaches the end consumer in Germany. The 30 percent loss is as large as the total energy production of the Netherlands and Denmark combined. And of what reaches the users, another 30 percent is lost. For example, due to outdated boilers. More than half of the primary energy therefore falls by the wayside.

Campaign for more energy efficiency

Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck therefore launched the “80 million for the energy change” campaign a few days ago – together with associations and trade unions. A major campaign is intended to persuade the population and the economy to be more efficient. But that’s not easy. “You don’t see the kilowatt hour saved,” says Habeck. “It is comparatively difficult to raise awareness of putting this saved kilowatt hour at the center of politics.”

The potential savings in private households are already being used to a great extent: turning down the thermostats, switching off standby devices, putting the lid on when cooking, low temperatures in the washing machine.

Demand for requirements for industry

The private share of energy consumption in Germany fell by 9.3 percent between 2008 and 2018. Industry was up 0.5 percent. Critics are therefore demanding that industry in particular should be made more responsible because of the enormous waste of waste heat – with clear conditions and bans.

Uwe Leprich from the University of Applied Sciences in Saarbr├╝cken criticized that for decades a despondent politician had not dared to really tackle the issue of energy efficiency with clear guidelines. “A heat utilization ordinance for industry would be very effective,” says Leprich. The heat must be used for sensible things.

Plusminus reports on this and other topics today at 9.45 p.m. in the first.

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