Nothing works without energy. We need energy in order to meet our mobility demands, to keep it warm and bright, to prepare food and beverages, to render services and to manufacture products. 

The amount of energy we use for different purposes depends on the intelligence and efficiency of the use of energy. Furthermore, it depends on the existing infrastructure, the market conditions and the political-administrative framework. In addition, demands concerning care economy and requirements regarding flexibilisation have an impact on the energy we use. 

Thermal insulation
There is great potential for energy savings, especially in the building sector, such as damping and insulation of an attic.

Energy savings resp. an increase in energy efficiency can be achieved at different sections of the supply and demand chain:

  • On the energy demand side by intelligent use of energy without reducing the level of comfort (energy savings by increased energy end-use efficiency) or by substituting an energy carrier by one that uses less primary energy (energy savings by substitution). Furthermore, energy can also be saved by a lower level or new definition of comfort, which is energy sufficiency, often in combination with energy efficiency. The analysis of policies regarding energy efficiency and sufficiency on the demand side is one of the key activities of the Division Energy, Transport and Climate Policy.
  • In energy supply: renewables, combined heat (cold) and power production, efficient power plants. These are the topics that mainly Division Future Energy and Industry Systems deals with.
  • In energy transmission and distribution, e.g., by using energy-efficient transformers, reducing or – in heat grids – insulating lines and system optimisation.

In all these areas, there are major potentials for innovation and market opportunities. Realisation can be fostered by adequate policies and measures. The Wuppertal Institute researches and advises governments scientifically especially in the field of energy efficiency on the demand side. This is the case in EU projects like the "Energy Efficiency Watch", in which the member state's progress on implementing the energy efficiency standards and accomplishing the goal of saving 1.5 per cent energy per year is analysed. In the EU project "COMBI", a consortium of institutes under the direction of the Wuppertal Institute compiles a comprehensive data base on the many benefits of energy efficiency until 2018.

Other projects focus on the analysis of policy packages and instruments for energy efficiency in buildings and devices.

The main research questions that the Wuppertal Institute is dealing with regarding to energy efficiency can be downloaded – as well as a research profile of the institute in relation to energy efficiency policies and measures in developing and emerging countries – from this website.


Dr. Stefan Thomas

Tel.: +49 202 2492-143

Fax: +49 202 2492-250

Maike Venjakob

Tel.: +49 202 2492-261

Fax: +49 202 2492-250


Here you find research activities in the field of energy efficiency.

Related projects