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08 Apr 2020, 12:55
Sören Amelang

Digitalisation of Germany's energy transition on track, but many hurdles ahead – study

Clean Energy Wire

The digitalisation of the energy transition process made good progress last year, but numerous challenges still lie ahead, according to a study commissioned by the country's economy ministry and conducted by management consultancy EY.  The study found the smooth roll-out of smart electricity meters, a secure supply of the necessary equipment, more regulatory transparency and planning security, as well as high engagement of all stakeholders have enabled "an encouraging interim result on a still complex and challenging path." The "Barometer of the digitalisation of the energy transition" awards the enterprise an overall assessment of 36 out of 100 points, an increase of 14 points from a year ago.

The report warns that many stakeholders remain sceptical regarding the ministry's timeframe for implementation, and that "existing telecommunications networks and services cannot fully meet the technical, regulatory and economic requirements of the digitalisation of the energy transition." It also says the slow technology roll-out means a lack of scale hampers the development of profitable business models. The integration of end consumers, such as households and businesses, also lags behind, the report says.

Digitalisation will be crucial for the next phase of Germany's energy transition because it offers enormous potential to speed up the decarbonisation of the world’s fourth largest economy. The country needs a much more flexible and efficient electricity system based on millions of wind and solar installations that can also power cars and heating, for example. Utilities say the "largest ever national IT project" is required to make it happen.

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