Germany aims to push energy efficiency with digitalisation strategy
The German government plans a new digitalisation strategy that could pave the way for greater energy efficiency in the electricty sector, industry, and buildings, reports newsletter Tagesspiegel Background. The plan, which is expected to be agreed on 31 August, would boost the rollout of smart meters, encourage industries to make their consumption more flexible, and make it necessary for the CO2 footprints of new buildings to be predetermined before they are built. Financing for the ambitious plan remains unclear, however, and proposed measures could change following budget negotiations this autumn, according to the newsletter, which as seen a draft of the strategy.
A main goal of the draft plan is to help the energy sector “de-bureaucratise” and accelerate the rollout of smart meters, which has been slower than initially planned. The use of the systems in households and companies is expected to increase 80 percent by 2025. In addition, data centres are to become more energy-efficient by making largely wasted heat from supercomputers available for heating networks and adopting more climate-friendly cooling methods. Further aims of the digital strategy include making energy consumption in industrial production more flexible through greater automated control, as well as making agriculture more sustainable through digitalisation, which could also make the sector more animal-friendly, resource-saving, efficient and resilient, . Likewise, greater digitalisation in the transport sector would make rail transport more efficient and climate-friendly. In the construction industry, digital Building Information Modeling (BIM) uses digital models to plan and control construction processes and calculate CO2 balances of buildings before they are built, thus increasing their overall efficiency.
Implementing the coalition government’s plan will be the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry for Digital and Transport – both run by the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) – and the Green-controlled Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action in coordination with Social Democratic (SPD)-led Federal Chancellery.