Environmetal Effects of Digitalization

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Through digitalization of services energy flows shift from the use by the end consumer to the provision of services and infrastructures. From a material perspective, especially advantages as efficiency increases of processes achieved through the networking and dematerialization of goods and services are emphasized. But where exactly do energy flows move to in the process chain due to digitalization? What are the ecological impacts of digital networking in smart home, smart mobility or online shopping when visible as well as hidden energy consumptions are considered? How do efficiency increases of digital technologies correlate with potential growth rates in energy and material consumption and thereby evoke rebound effects?

Together with research partners, the dissertation in Engineering will depict digital process chains, analyze their energy and material consumptions and evaluate them with regard to their environmental effects.

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Johanna Pohl