Despite the energy crisis, the Ukraine war and inflation, business in the German electronics and digital industry is booming. But companies are concerned about the infrastructure of the energy transition.

Germany’s electrical and digital industry is pushing for a faster expansion of the German power grid. The infrastructure is not designed for the requirements of the energy transition, said the chairman of the board of the ZVEI trade association, Wolfgang Weber, on Wednesday in Frankfurt.

Industry experts expect the annual electricity requirement to at least double by 2045 from today’s 550 to up to 1200 terawatt hours. Among other things, the association assumes 15 million charging points for electric cars and six million heat pumps. In the case of renewable energies, the generation capacity would have to be increased by a factor of 4.5. “Without a strong power grid, there will be no climate neutrality. The future power grid must be converted into a climate neutral network,” said Weber.

Intelligence is required

In addition to the physical network expansion, more intelligence must also come into the system, the ZVEI demands. Consistent electrification and digitization can reduce primary energy consumption by up to 65 percent. In order to achieve the climate goals that have been set, the electricity market must also be restructured so that consumers can benefit from the attractive prices for electricity from renewable energies via dynamic tariffs.

The industry is currently benefiting from the trends towards electrification and digitization. According to the association, price-adjusted production last year rose by 3.7 percent compared to 2021. In connection with price increases, nominal sales reached a record high of 224 billion euros with growth of 12 percent.

Exports, including re-exports, also peaked at EUR 246 billion. More than half (126 billion euros) went to the European single market, which ZVEI President Gunther Kegel believes must be further developed. In the current year, a “black zero” is expected in production and thus a consolidation at a very high level.