Sino-German Expert workshop on regulation and implementation for product energy efficiency

In pursuit of ambitious climate targets, a key strategy lies in prioritizing the reduction of energy consumption—a cost-effective and environmentally sound way to mitigate carbon emissions.  China and Germany both recognize the essential role of energy efficiency on the path to climate neutrality, identifying it as a significant leverage point. Consequently, the Expert Workshop on Regulation and Implementation for Product Energy Efficiency took place online on November 14. It was organized by GIZ under the framework of the Sino-German Energy Partnership between BMWK, NDRC and NEA.

The primary objective of the workshop was to establish a mutual understanding of the latest regulations, exchange learnings, and discuss potential future cooperation.

Current and planned updates of policy framework in Germany and China

In the beginning, experts from the German research institute Fraunhofer ISI and the conformity assessment body TÜV Rheinland introduced the European framework for product energy efficiency, underlining current and upcoming changes(click here to download content). The new framework will still focus on energy efficiency, while also placing emphasis on repairability and durability, aligning with circular economy principles Fraunhofer ISI also gave an outlook on the digital product passport as an important future policy tool that will lay the foundations to assess energy consumption not only in the use phase but for the whole life cycle of a product.

Subsequently, experts from the China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS) gave a comprehensive overview of the current policy framework to increase energy efficiency in products. The experts highlighted the advanced digitalization of China’s energy labelling system. Also, they introduced the Enterprise Standard Forerunner initiative that promotes the development of group standards for product energy efficiency.

Discussion on challenges and cooperation potentials

During the discussion, both sides agreed that one major challenge of implementing energy efficiency policy will be to simultaneously measure greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) over the whole life cycle.

It was also mentioned that the harmonisation of standards still needs a lot of effort. Although the technical harmonisation can be feasibly applied, the legal alignment requires much greater coordination and adjustment. The experts welcomed more information exchange on overarching regulations, timelines in the policy process, as well as implementation of product standards.

Enhancing Sino-German collaboration on energy efficiency standards

To advance the global energy transition and achieve climate neutrality, the collaboration and harmonization of standards in energy efficiency between China and Germany are crucial. By aligning their standards through bilateral exchanges, both nations can foster mutual understanding, enhance market transparency, and promote the widespread adoption of energy-efficient technologies and practices. Hence, EP is dedicated to establishing the platform for exchanges among stakeholders in China and Germany regarding standards development. Through this platform, we conduct in-depth exchanges and discussions on product energy efficiency, energy efficiency standards for sustainable heating solutions, and benchmarks for energy efficiency, carbon emissions and green hydrogen certification and standards. As for results, we reviewed Germany and Europe's standard development and practices, engaged the business sectors to share their insights, and supported thematic specific industrial standard development and compiled policy recommendations for China.