The German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) Robert Habeck has recently presented a concept for an industrial electricity price. This visualises relieving the burden on electricity-intensive sectors and important future industries. However, data centres are not included in the current concept.
The Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures in Germany, founded under the umbrella of the eco Association, calls for data centres to be included in the current discussion regarding the introduction of industrial electricity prices. The German federal government should recognise the importance of the industry as the backbone of digitalisation and, accordingly, as part of the solution in achieving the climate goals.
Volker Ludwig, Vice Spokesperson of the Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures in Germany, has the following to say:
“In principle, the working paper on the industrial electricity price addresses core problems that confront the data centre industry on a daily basis: high electricity prices when compared with other countries – especially when German taxes and charges are taken into account – and inadequate access to renewable energies. Ultimately, this also leads to a lack of international competitiveness – the third major problem for operators.
“The fact that the data centre industry is not considered in the current paper is therefore rather baffling.
“As the backbone of digitalisation, data centres are the foundation of a future-oriented, resource-saving and digitally sovereign industry. Yet they also rely on a power supply that is constantly available, resilient and financially viable.
“It should therefore make complete and utter sense for the German federal government to include data centres in its planned measures to supply energy-intensive companies with renewable electricity at competitive prices. Our industry is also dependent on the transformation and bridging electricity price.
“This is the only way to leverage digitalisation to reduce CO2 emissions in all sectors. The importance of the sector must be taken into account when it comes to a competitive industrial electricity price.”
Ludwig also draws attention to the 2019 report produced by the Commission of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, entitled Growth, Structural Change and Employment (DE). In this report, alongside the manufacturing industry, data centres were already recognised as electricity-intensive industries.
Ludwig: “This classification must also be reflected in the current discussions on energy-intensive industries.”