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Local learning networks on energy efficiency in industry - Successful initiative in Germany

: Jochem, E.; Gruber, E.


Applied energy 84 (2007), Nr.7-8, S.806-816
ISSN: 0306-2619
ISSN: 1872-9118
Fraunhofer ISI ()
energy efficiency; local learning network; industry; transaction cost; climate change mitigation; innovation

Profitable energy-efficiency potentials are often not exploited in industry since management tends not to focus on energy issues. Sharing experiences between companies reveals possibilities for reducing the transaction costs involved. For this purpose, regionally or locally-organised learning networks of companies have been established. Social mechanisms are used to motivate management to pay more attention to energy efficiency in Switzerland and Germany. The main elements of the activities include initial consultation for each company with an experienced engineer, agreement on a common target for energy-efficiency improvement, regular meetings with technical presentations and an exchange of experiences, yearly control of energy consumption and CO2 emissions as well as scientific monitoring and evaluation of the process.
The results of some evaluations show that substantial progress has been made in implementing organisational measures and investments in energy efficiency in the participating companies. The reasons for these achievements are discussed and conclusions drawn about the opportunities and limits of this instrument. Finally, a recommendation is made to implement this instrument on a broader level.