Structural and production technology-based determinants of resource efficiency
Monika Dittrich1, Birte Ewers1, Karl Schoer2, Claudia Kämper1, Sabrina Ludmann1, Jürgen Giegrich1, Christian Sartorius3, Torsten Hummen3, Frank Marscheider-Weidemann3
1ifeu GmbH, Germany; 2SSG Sustainable Solutions Germany; 3ISI Fraunhofer Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung
With ProgRess and ProgRess II, Germany has set specific political targets for resource efficiency in 2020 and 2030. The definition of such targets is very challenging as the impact of resource efficiency measures is difficult to predict. We therefore developed a first approach to estimate the impact of political and technological measures on resource efficiency against the background of existing trends and policies. As a result, we suggest a corridor of action for politicians by defining the impact on resource efficiency indicators if existing politics and trends take effect and if in addition ambitious technology-oriented resource efficiency measures are implemented.
Methodologically, we developed a highly disaggregated, environmentally-extended hybrid input-output scenario model for Germany (URMOD) to analyze the impact of a technology-based dematerialization policy on raw material use. In order to include raw material requirements for imports and exports, we estimated raw material use in raw material equivalents (RME). The basis of the model is an economy-wide input-output table for the year 2010 with 274×274 product groups and 41 categories of final use. Using a comparative-static approach, we utilize the base year model to create a scenario model which estimates the effect of resource efficiency measures on raw material use in 2030. We focus on the most material intensive sectors, namely the energy, construction, transport and recycling sector and consider two scenarios: The scenario ‘expected future development’ estimates raw material use in 2030 based on already decided policies and measures. The scenario ‘technological change’ additionally assumes the implementation of selected innovative technologies. Our results show that raw material use will likely decrease in the future. Important levers are the transition to renewable energies and a trend of declining housing development. Possibilities to increase resource efficiency using innovative technologies are smaller in comparison, but still significant.