Sino-German Expert Workshop on Industry Energy Efficiency Benchmarks for Cement and Glass: Need for Continued Exchange

Group photo of participants

On 20 September, German and Chinese experts exchanged on both countries’ industry benchmarks for energy efficiency with a focus on the production of cement and flat glass. The workshop was organized by GIZ and China National Institute for Standardization (CNIS) under the framework of the Sino-German Energy Partnership commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). Experts from both countries held presentations on existing benchmarks for cement and flat glass. Then, in an open discussion, the participants (ranging from government to academia and industry) pointed out similarities and differences regarding methodologies and spoke about major challenges such as collecting data and guaranteeing its quality as well as dealing with complexity within a sector.

Both China and Germany aim to increase overall energy efficiency to support their decarbonization targets. Germany commits to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and has set a binding target to reduce final energy consumption by 26.5% by 2030, compared to 2008. China commits to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021–2025) contains a mandatory national target to reduce energy intensity 13.5% below 2020 levels by 2025. Energy efficiency is a central pillar to reduce carbon emissions at relatively low cost, with energy-intensive sectors playing an especially important role. Therefore, the workshop focused on industry energy efficiency benchmarks.

Industry benchmarks are seen as an important future tool to evaluate energy saving potential. They allow an internal or cross-company comparison of the energy efficiency or carbon emission level. This way they can promote and support energy management in companies and can be used to analyze and derive policies aimed at increasing energy efficiency in different industries. Over the last decade, there have been discussions on how to establish cross-company benchmarks in Germany, though so far, the implementation is still in its infancy.

The open discussion made clear that both countries are facing challenges in developing benchmarks. While in Germany company data is publicly available, access to company data in China is limited. Both sides emphasized that the collection of data requires well-trained personnel to avoid inaccuracies. When it comes to developing benchmarks for a specific sector, the issue of complexity regarding differences in processes or materials still prevails. To further address these challenges, both sides emphasized the wish to continue the exchange on energy efficiency and carbon benchmarks.

About the Sino-German Energy Parntership

The Sino-German Energy Partnership is the central dialogue platform on energy and energy efficiecny between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the National Energy Administration (NEA) of the People’s Republic of China. The main objective of the partnership is to foster and advance the far-reaching and profound energy transitions ongoing in both countries by exchanging views, best practices and knowledge on the development of a sustainable energy system, primarily centered on improving energy efficiency and expanding the use of renewable energy. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the project under commission of BMWK.