Pace of digitalisation of energy transition slows – govt report
Clean Energy Wire
The digitalisation of the energy transition process again made noticeable progress last year, but long-awaited regulations are still pending, according to the latest study commissioned by the German economy ministry and conducted by management consultancy EY. The study identified progress in the continued rollout of digitalisation and on the regulatory front. Specifically, improvement was seen in increased market communication and the further implementation of the country’s Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Transition (GDEW), which enables the development of a digital infrastructure, including smart grids, smart meters and smart homes, capable of connecting more than 1.5 million electricity producers and large-scale consumers. In addition, the study cites the ongoing rollout of modern measuring equipment and the decision to award 450 MHz frequency usage rights to the energy sector.
The COVID-19 pandemic only affected the rollout and digitalisation progress at the beginning of the crisis in spring 2020, but not significantly, the study found, citing the unanimous assessment of stakeholders. Overall, however, the pace of digitalisation has slowed somewhat, due in part to important regulatory decisions not yet having been made or implemented and because structural obstacles continue to hinder the scaling of the rollout as well as new business models. Overall, the "Energy Transition Digitalisation Barometer 2020” gave 44 out of 100 points, up from 36 for 2019.
Continued digitalisation and the development of a more flexible and efficient electricity system are vital for the next phase of Germany's energy transition as the country accelerates the decarbonisation of its economy.