Tomorrow, Thursday, the German Bundestag will discuss the Energy Efficiency Act in its first reading. The Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures in Germany, founded under the umbrella of eco – Association of the Internet Industry, considers the current version of the draft which was approved by the Federal Cabinet in April to be detrimental to Germany as a digital location. eco therefore appeals to all members of the Bundestag to intensively scrutinise the Energy Efficiency Act and to take the concerns of the data centre industry seriously into account.
In its Energy Efficiency Act, the German federal government has initially provided for a flat-rate delivery of ten per cent of waste heat by data centres coming on stream from 1 July 2026. In the following two years, the delivery is set to be increased in installments to reach 15 or 20 per cent.
Dr. Béla Waldhauser, Spokesperson of the Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures in Germany, has the following to say on the matter:
“Energy efficiency has been the focus of the German data centre industry for many years – the objectives of the law therefore make sense, but what we need is a realistic catalogue of conditions for waste heat projects, to include site-specific feasibility analyses. We appeal to the representatives of the German Bundestag to give due consideration to the concerns and concrete comments on the draft law.”
The waste heat projects implemented thus far in Germany are well below the ten per cent threshold. In addition, seasonal fluctuations between summer and winter waste heat consumption are completely disregarded in the current draft and, what’s more, run counter to supply and demand.
To date, there has been no clarification about how to proceed in cases where there is neither a heating network in the vicinity nor potential municipal consumers. If data centres are only allowed to be built in the vicinity of waste heat consumers, the law then ignores other important location factors – and unnecessarily but massively restricts digital infrastructures, which now form the foundation of high-performance digitalisation.
“The Energy Efficiency Act in its present form would constitute a disproportionate encroachment on entrepreneurial freedom. In addition, the Energy Efficiency Act could lead to the migration of data centres to neighbouring European countries and seriously endanger Germany’s digital sovereignty,” Waldhauser goes on to say.