Smoke-filled promises: Energy efficiency law falls short

Planned energy efficiency law: Lots of smoke, but no fire

The Munich Environmental Institute has criticized the energy efficiency law planned by the federal government. The law includes measures for the data center industry to improve energy efficiency. However, the institute’s report highlights that politicians have given in to the demands of the industry lobby. Industry associations are unhappy that efficiency measures are being made mandatory, even though 19 data center operators have called for more action on efficiency. The draft law only applies to the largest data centers, which make up less than one percent of all data centers in Germany. All other data centers and network nodes are exempt from regulation. The public energy efficiency register has also been removed from the draft. The Munich Environmental Institute views the slight improvement in energy consumption effectiveness positively, from a ratio of 1.3 to 1.2. However, the requirement for data centers to provide information on waste heat emissions in the future remains. This is intended to facilitate the use of waste heat by connecting producers with heating networks. Leonard Burtscher, consultant for energy and climate policy at the Environmental Institute, concludes that the law falls short of necessary measures and is disappointing. It is uncertain whether the required doubling of energy productivity in the coming years can be achieved with this law.

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