Climate Protection Potentials of Digitalized Production Processes: Microeconometric Evidence?ZEW Discussion Paper No. 21-105 // 2021
Although information and communication technologies (ICT) consume energy themselves, they are considered to have the potential to reduce overall energy intensity within economic sectors. While previous empirical evidence is based on aggregated data, this is the first large-scale empirical study on the relationship between ICT and energy intensity at the firm level. For this purpose, we employ administrative panel data on 28,600 manufacturing firms from German Statistical Offices collected between 2009 and 2017. Our results confirm a statistically significant and robust negative link between software capital as an indicator for the firm-level degree of digitalization and energy intensity, but the effect size is rather small. Hence, we conclude that energy intensity reductions related to the use of digital technologies are lower than expected.
Axenbeck, Janna and Thomas Niebel (2021), Climate Protection Potentials of Digitalized Production Processes: Microeconometric Evidence?, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 21-105, Mannheim.