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Digitization increases energy consumption – Online portal from IT Department

On average, companies’ energy consumption increases by 1.03 percent in a year as the use of ICT technologies increases. This is evidenced by the current analysis by the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) and the University of Göttingen of more than 28,700 manufacturing companies based in Germany.

large energy consumers

A separate analysis by experts on electricity consumption and fossil fuels not used for electricity generation shows: consumption increased most sharply at 1.34 percent in one year. However, no significant effect of fossil fuel consumption was found. Therefore, the results indicate that the overall increase in energy consumption is due to the increased use of electricity.

“After all, there is the option of switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources when it comes to electricity. This can contribute to the decarbonization of the German economy,” adds co-author Anne Berner, an expert in statistics and analysis at the German Energy Agency and a scientist at the University of Göttingen. . According to the International Energy Agency, in 2020, about 26 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions and 38 percent of global energy consumption were attributed to the manufacturing sector.

Focus on structural weakness

The analysis also shows that, on average, energy consumption increases more in SMEs in structurally weak regions than in large firms in economically strong regions. “This finding suggests that there is a political conflict of objectives between reducing energy consumption on the one hand and strengthening SMEs and enterprises in structurally weak areas on the other,” says Jana Axenbeck, ZEW researcher and also co-author.

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