Economic barriers to energy services and energy efficiency improvement projects in German Industrial Sector – a multiple-case study

Bergmann, Matthias Volker (2019) Economic barriers to energy services and energy efficiency improvement projects in German Industrial Sector – a multiple-case study. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The member states of the European Union have committed themselves to the reduction of energy consumption in order to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, to which global warming is attributed. The Federal Republic of Germany has announced its intention to increase energy efficiency by using Energy Services from Energy Service Companies.
Contrary to the assumptions about existing potentials, the development of this market – both globally and in relation to Germany – has so far been sub optimal, the existence of barriers is held responsible for this. Although there is a growing volume of papers on different aspects of these barriers, the area of economic barriers for the industry sector in Germany has not yet been examined.
This research filled this gap.
The multiple-case study strategy employing semi-structured interviews was used for this research, in order to understand the phenomenon in depth, identify the most important barriers on the basis of a conceptual barrier framework and develop recommendations to overcome these barriers. The use of the multiple-case study research strategy made it possible to obtain transferable results whose credibility was underpinned by carefully collected data.
Research participants came from the stakeholders Energy Service Company, customer organisations as well as third party financing organisations involved in energy efficiency improvement projects.
It was found that from the common point of view of the stakeholders involved, 'External Risks' and 'Low Capital Availability' were the most significant barriers.
Furthermore, it was found that additional barrier issues were not yet part of the existing barrier frameworks. The barrier 'Accounting Standards' was therefore added as a further barrier.
Recommendations were derived both for policy and practice of the Energy Service Company involved.
The safeguarding of the status of energy legislation was recognised as a major political contribution in order to create a sufficiently secure basis for decision-making on the necessary investments – at least for existing measures.
The Energy Service Company recognised the need to offer a comprehensive energy service scope in order not to lose ground to providers of specialised services.

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