News in detail

Status Quo and Outlook - How Digital is the German Energy Transition?

© Yalanskyi

Data sufficiency, digital business models, environmental impacts of digital applications - what is the status of the digitalization of the Energiewende, the energy transition, in Germany? A team of scientists from the Einstein Center Digital Future, the Technical University of Berlin, the Berlin University of the Arts and the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) quantifies research theses on the digitalization of this transition in Germany based on the assessment of experts. The result: The experts believe that the appropriate technologies for the energy transition already exist, but there is a lack of regulation, accessibility of solutions, automation and integration.

For the evaluation of the theses, 270 experts with several years of professional experience in the fields of energy technology, systems engineering or heating networks in research and companies were surveyed. The experts were asked to rate a total of 36 theses, such as "A comprehensive ecological evaluation of digital applications with positive and negative environmental effects should be sought in order to evaluate the influence on overriding goals (e.g. climate protection goals)" or "Standardized access to public data would increase the transferability of research results" in seven gradations from "Disagree at all" to "Fully agree". "The theses focus on digitalization in the context of climate-friendly planning, construction and operation of buildings, neighborhoods and heating networks. We developed these theses from past interviews and workshops and use them here to quantify individual statements," explains Prof. Dr. Rita Streblow, professor at the ECDF and head of the project.

The answers show that, according to the experts, the appropriate technologies for the energy transition are already available, but that there is a lack of regulation, accessibility of solutions, automation and integration. From this, the scientists derive four recommendations for action: Enable and promote knowledge transfer, demonstrate the added values and costs of digitization, promote the efficient use of data and methods, and increase automation for more efficient systems.

In addition to ECDF professors and collaborators Felix Rehmann, Falk Cudok, Valentin Rupp, Max von Grafenstein and Rita Streblow, Jan Kegel and Astrid Aretz from the IÖW were also involved in the project.

Download the paper //here