In order to increase energy efficiency in industry and commerce, the Research Centre for Energy Economics (FfE GmbH) is already initiating, supporting and moderating a large number of energy efficiency networks (or Learning Energy Efficiency Networks - LEEN) in Germany and Austria.
The energy efficiency networks are an offer of cooperation and networking platform for the economy. The basis for the targeted reduction of energy costs and CO2 shapes a network management system (®LEEN) developed and tested in recent years by Fraunhofer ISI, among others.
On October 20, 2016, the Research Centre for Energy Economics (FfE GmbH) received the Bavarian Energy Award in the category "Initiatives and Educational Projects" for its Learning Energy Efficiency Networks.
FfE GmbH networks in Bavaria and Austria
Under the patronage of Hep Monatzeder, 3rd mayor of the state capital Munich, the network Munich-Oberbayern started in January 2010 with the first energy efficiency table. The second network in Southern Bavaria was founded in March 2011. Shortly thereafter, the next networks in the Chiemgau-Rupertiwinkel region as well as the Bayerngas Energy Efficiency Cooperation were established before we succeeded in establishing Austria's first energy efficiency network in Vorarlberg together with Vorarlberger Kraftwerke AG.
Due to the great success, the second network in the Vorarlberg region was founded again in 2014 together with Vorarlberger Kraftwerke AG. Shortly afterwards, in autumn 2014, the third FfE energy efficiency network in Austria was launched together with VERBUND AG under the title Eco-Net. In June 2015, the Energy Efficiency Network Ettlingen was launched with 12 participating companies. In December, the energy efficiency network Vorarlberg 3 was launched to continue the successful Vorarlberg networks.
“Franconia networks itself (Franken vernetzt sich)” is the name of the energy efficiency network with 15 participating companies that was launched in June 2016. In December 2016, 12 other northern Bavarian companies joined forces to form an energy efficiency network under the title "Impulse for Bavaria" .
A selection of the companies we served is shown below (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Participating companies in previous networks (as of December 2016)
How does an energy efficiency network work?
The main objective of the ®LEEN-certified networks is to uncover and implement profitable operational energy saving potentials and thus save costs and promote climate protection at the same time. In addition to a professional, comprehensive initial consultation (phase 1, see Figure 2), the practice-oriented exchange of experience between the participating companies and the regular expert presentations on key technology topics also contribute.
Figure 2: Procedure of a ®LEEN certified energy efficiency network (EEN)
The individual initial consultation is carried out for each participant in about seven to ten months by engineers from the FfE GmbH (in Austria also in cooperation with engineers from Vorarlberger Kraftwerke AG and Verbund AG) and concludes with an initial consultation report. The report describes the company's most important structural and energetic data and records all evaluated measures with their important key data (amount of savings potential, investment sum, economic efficiency of the measure). The aim is to identify the economic energy saving potentials of the participants via the initial consultation.
On the basis of consultation report results, the networks reach a joint voluntary target agreement on energy and CO2 savings at the end of phase 1, which is to be achieved by the end of the network period. During the so-called energy efficiency tables (phase 2, see Figure 2), which take place at one of the participants, experience is exchanged between the participants under professional moderation and relevant technology topics (e.g. compressed air, air conditioning, heat recovery or lighting) are presented by experts. The meetings always start with a tour of the plant, which explains the respective situation to the participants. When individual measures are implemented during phase 2, they will also be presented as experience reports. These two elements (technical presentations, exchange of experience) provide the participants with practice-relevant and up-to-date information that supports their decision-making process on energy-saving measures.
The networks go beyond the usual energy consulting. The small costs of the information procurement make this procedure interesting also for medium-size enterprises. The costs are substantially reduced by the exchange of experience and the customer-oriented expert lectures.
In order to determine the achievements and to examine the common goal definition, an annual monitoring takes place in the phase 2, which determines and evaluates the sum of all efficiency and CO2 reduction measures.
On request, a final workshop will be held at which the results will be presented to the public and the participants will decide whether they wish to continue the network. Previous experience with such networks at Modell Hohenlohe, EnBW and in Switzerland has shown that an energy efficiency increase of 2 - 3 % per year is achieved.
Our previous network projects:
This is how a Learning Energy Efficiency Network (LEEN) works - video with field reports:
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