Primary Drivers, Obstacles and Economic Effects of Digitalization in the Energy-Intensive Industry

Daniel Grogger

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


In an era of rapid technological advancements, the energy-intensive industry finds itself at the nexus of innovation and transformation. The profound wave of digitalization has swept across sectors, reshaping traditional paradigms and fostering unprecedented opportunities. This master’s thesis delves into the intricate interplay of primary drivers, formidable obstacles, and the economic effects of digitalization and energy efficiency within the energy-intensive industry. As the global community grapples with the imperative of sustainable development, the energy-intensive sector is pivotal in shaping the trajectory towards a more efficient and environmentally conscious future. Digitalization, marked by the integration of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced data analytics, emerges as a catalyst for redefining industrial processes, resource utilization, and overall operational dynamics. New energy production and consumption methods are becoming possible because of advancing digital technology, declining costs, and widespread connections. The development of new, linked energy system designs with digitalization has the potential to dissolve existing issues (cf. IEA, 2017a).
The primary objective of this master’s thesis is to unravel the forces driving digital transformation in the energy-intensive industry. A thorough analysis of the drivers, ranging from technological advancements to more transparent processes, will yield a detailed understanding of the impetus behind this disruptive wave. Concurrently, this research will investigate the barriers that significantly hinder the smooth integration of digital technology in this intricate industrial environment. Moreover, digitalization, including its technologies and energy efficiency, is discussed further. Ultimately, the literature part is completed by economic evaluation methods in corporate environments to make digitalization effects feasible.
To gain practical insights and to better understand the role of digitalization and energy efficiency in energy-intensive industries, a survey was conducted based on the literature review findings in Chapter 2. The survey was sent to selected professionals who work in or have expertise in this field. The objective was to gather knowledge and insights from these professionals, which is crucial in drawing meaningful conclusions and future trends to deepen the understanding of the drivers and obstacles of digitalization in the energy-intensive industry.
This empirical survey delves into critical facets such as digitalization’s current status, its impact on energy demand, primary drivers, and obstacles shaping its implementation. Additionally, it examines digitalization’s role in enhancing energy efficiency, the challenges encountered in its execution, and future trends within the industry. By navigating through these dimensions, the study aims to comprehensively understand the intricate relationship between digitalization and energy efficiency in the energy-intensive sector.
Translated title of the contributionPrimäre Treiber, Hürden und wirtschaftliche Auswirkungen der Digitalisierung in der energieintensiven Industrie
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Schlar, Daniel, Co-Supervisor (internal)
  • Posch, Wolfgang, Supervisor (internal)
Award date22 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

no embargo


  • Digitalization
  • Energy efficiency
  • digital technologies
  • digilatization driver
  • digitalization obstacles
  • Energy-intensive industry

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