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23 Sep 2021, 13:38
Sören Amelang

Germany's digitalisation lag puts energy transition at risk – utilities

Clean Energy Wire

Germany's utility companies have warned that the country's slow digitalisation is imperilling its landmark energy transition. "Without digital transformation, the energy transition cannot succeed," said Kerstin Andreae, head of utility association BDEW. "However, Germany has a lot of catching up to do in many areas of digitalisation. This concerns, among other things, the lack of skilled workers, the digitalisation of the administration, but also the expansion of broadband. Policymakers must act." She added that digital technologies help reduce the cost of the energy transition; make better use of scarce resources, and offer customers improved services with faster and direct communication. But increasing digitalisation will also cause bigger electricity demands, underlining the need to speed up the renewables roll-out, the lobby group said.  

In a strategy paper, the association called for an innovative regulatory framework to enable sustainable digitalisation, an integrated planning approach for linking different sectors both digitally and via physical infrastructure, new rules for the use of artificial intelligence, a fast roll-out of broadband infrastructure, a digitalisation push at all levels of public administrations, and many other steps in order to speed up the transition. 

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