German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) Robert Habeck recently presented a strategy paper that, in particular, includes a so-called bridge electricity price to alleviate the burden of rising electricity prices for energy-intensive companies. However, the new industrial strategy does not address data centres, which are crucial for the digital transformation of businesses and industries in Germany.
The Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures in Germany, founded under the umbrella of the eco Association, is urging the German federal government to consider data centres in the medium- and long-term energy price relief.
Data centres form the foundation of a forward-looking, resource-conserving and digitally sovereign industry. Simultaneously, they rely on a constant, base-load capable and financially viable power supply.
Dr. Béla Waldhauser, Spokesperson of the Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures in Germany, says:
“Essentially, data centres face two major problems with regard to their energy supply: First, high electricity prices by international standards, including the taxes and levies due in Germany. Secondly, limited access to electricity from renewable energies. These factors enormously inhibit the competitiveness of data centres located in Germany, so that there is a threat of migration abroad.”
Günter Eggers, Alliance co-spokesperson, adds:
“The industrial strategy already addresses the problem of rising energy prices in principle, but does not take the data centre industry into account. This is particularly unfortunate, as the sector offers great potential for achieving the climate targets in Germany. Therefore, we support the bridge electricity price, which SPD party leader Saskia Esken already brought into play several weeks ago, and call for its extension for data centres.”
In addition, a recent study by the eco Association in cooperation with the Alliance for the Strengthening of Digital Infrastructures in Germany and Arthur D. Little shows that data centres contribute significantly more to a positive CO₂ balance than they consume, despite their energy consumption. As the backbone of digitalisation, high-performance digital infrastructures form the basis for saving up to 163 megatonnes of CO₂ by 2050.
Study: Digital Transformation for More Sustainability
German-language background paper: Classification of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) Concept for an Industrial Electricity Price in EU State Aid Legislation