What drives the relationship between digitalization and industrial energy demand? Exploring firm-level heterogeneity

Axenbeck, Janna ; Berner, Anne ; Kneib, Thomas

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-637594
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2022
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 22-059
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: C14 , D22 , L60 , O33 , Q40,
Keywords (English): digital technologies , energy use , manufacturing , machine learning
Abstract: The ongoing digital transformation has raised hopes for ICT-based climate protection within manufacturing industries, such as dematerialized products and energy efficiency gains. However, ICT also consume energy as well as resources, and detrimental effects on the environment are increasingly gaining attention. Accordingly, it is unclear whether trade-offs or synergies between the use of digital technologies and energy savings exist. Our analysis sheds light on the most important drivers of the relationship between ICT and energy use in manufacturing. We apply flexible tree-based machine learning to a German administrative panel data set including more than 25,000 firms. The results indicate firm-level heterogeneity, but suggest that digital technologies relate more frequently to an increase in energy use. Multiple characteristics, such as energy prices and firms’ energy mix, explain differences in the effect.

Das Dokument wird vom Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim bereitgestellt.

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