How Can We Make the Energiewende Digital and Sustainable?
The Energiewende means a transition from the old, nuclear-and-coal based, to a sustainable and digitalized energy system. This is a complex endeavor: the number of actors involved increases and their functions overlap. While digital technologies bring automation and potential for relief, they are an ambivalent phenomenon: with no comprehensive laws on data protection, it is unclear what is going to happen to the tremendous amount of data collected by digital appliances. Besides, technologies like blockchain are often so energy-intensive that they eat up the amount of resources that they are trying to save. Therefore, political design must actively shape a digital and ecologically sustainable energy transition – it will not happen by itself.
This is the result of a short study written by Ecologic Institute on behalf of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation. This blog article for energytransition.org sums up the study's key points.