Assessing the influence of Information and Communication Technologies on energy productivity

Alexandra Catalina Chinie 1
  • 1 Bucharest University of Economic Studies, , Bucharest, Romania


The digitalization current is among one of the most relevant factors that currently drive transformation in the economy, with different degrees of impact across the main segments of the economy. As the topic of sustainability is now on the agenda of the biggest economic players, digitalization and the ability to leverage Information and Communication Technology opportunities have been recognized as drivers for innovation and change and a means to reach the sustainability goals. Reaching energy efficiency has been among the main objectives of both the public and the private sectors, leading to an increased interest in recognizing and capitalizing on energy efficiency opportunities. This in turn has an impact on the overall energy productivity, defined as the economic output per unit of energy. While this indicator has relevance at both micro and macro level, it is important to identify which makes some countries perform better than others. In the current economic context, studying how the performance of countries in the digital era correlates with the energy productivity can reveal further information on how it can be improved. The Networked Readiness Index is an indicator which assesses how well a country can capitalize on digital technologies and whether their usage of Information and Communication Technology has a relevant socio-economic impact. This paper analyzes which components that are assessed in a country’s Networked Readiness Index might influence energy productivity. Based on a panel data analysis performed on European countries, the study identifies that the individual usage of Information and Communication Technologies, the business and innovation environment and the usage of ICT by the business segment could have an impact on the energy productivity of a country.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Australian Government (2018). Energy productivity and energy efficiency, Department of the Environment and Energy. Retrieved from:

  • Bean, P. (2014). The Case for Energy Productivity: It’s not Just Semantics, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center Discussion Paper KS-1402-DP01B.

  • Bibri, S.E. & Krogstie, J. (2017). Smart sustainable cities of the future: An extensive interdisciplinary literature review. Sustainable Cities and Society, 31, 183-212.

  • [Data] Eurostat (2018a). Energy Productivity. Retrieved from

  • [Data] Eurostat (2018b). Real GDP growth rate – volume. Retrieved from

  • [Data] World Economic Forum Data (2018)

  • EC Directive (2012). Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC

  • EC Recommendation (2014). Commission Recommendation of 10 October 2014 on the Data Protection Impact Assessment Template for Smart Grid and Smart Metering Systems (2014/724/EU)

  • European Commission (2008). Addressing the challenge of energy efficiency through Information and Communication Technologies, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, The Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Brussels, 13.5.2008, COM (2008) 241 final

  • European Commission (2016). Putting energy efficiency first: consuming better, getting cleaner, European Commission - Fact Sheet (

  • European Commission (2018a). The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), Online at:

  • European Commission (2018b). Digital Economy and Society Index, Online at:

  • International Telecommunications Union (2018). The ICT Development Index (IDI): conceptual framework and methodology, Retrieved from

  • KAPSARC (2015). Global shift: The energy productivity transformation, KAPSARC Energy Workshop Series, KS-1517-WB15A, Retrieved from:

  • Higón, D.A., Gholami, R. & Shirazi, F. (2017). ICT and environmental sustainability: A global perspective. Telematics and Informatics, 34(4), 85-95.

  • Hilty, L.M., Coroama, V.C, Ossés De Eicker, M., Ruddy, T.F., Thiébaud (-Müller), E. (2009). The Role of ICT in Energy Consumption and Energy Efficiency. ICT-ENSURE: European ICT Environmental Sustainability Research, Project Number 224017.

  • Kramers, A., Höjer, M., Lövehagen, N. & Wangel, J. (2014). Smart sustainable cities – Exploring ICT solutions for reduced energy use in cities. Environmental Modelling & Software, 56, June 2014, 52-62.

  • McKinsey Global Institute (2008). The Case for Investing in Energy Productivity. Eds: Farrell, D., Remes, J., Bressand, F., Laabs, M. & Sundaram, A., February 2008. Retrieved from

  • Mitchell, W.J. (2000). E-topia, “Urban Life, Jim – but Not as We Know it”, The MIT Press, Cambridge Mass.

  • Morán, A.J., Profaizer, P., Zapater, M.H., Valdavida, M.A., Bribián, I.Z. (2016). Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) for energy efficiency in buildings: Review and analysis of results from EU pilot projects, Energy and Buildings, 127, 1 September 2016, 128-137.

  • Ollo-López, A. & Aramendía-Muneta, M. E. (2012). ICT impact on competitiveness, innovation and environment. Telematics and Informatics, 29(2), May 2012, 204-210.

  • Pelau, C. & Chinie, A.C. (2018). Econometric Model for Measuring the Impact of the Education Level of the Population on the Recycling Rate in a Circular Economy. Amfiteatru Economic, 20(48), pp. 340-355.

  • Pelau, C. & Pop, N.Al. (2018). Implications for the energy policy derived from the relation between the cultural dimensions of Hofstede’s model and the consumption of renewable energies, Energy Policy, 118, July 2018, 160-168.

  • Romm, J. (2002). The internet and the new energy economy. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 36(3), October 2002, 197-210.

  • Sapprasert, K. (2007). The impact of ICT on the growth of the service industries, Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20070531, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, revised Apr 2010.

  • World Economic Forum (2018). What is ‘networked readiness’ and why does it matter?, Retrieved from

  • World Economic Forum (2016). The Global Information Technology Report 2016, Innovating in the Digital Economy, Eds: Baller, S., Dutta, S., Lanvin, B.

  • Yan, Z., Shi, R. & Zhiming, Y. (2018). ICT Development and Sustainable Energy Consumption: A Perspective of Energy Productivity. Sustainability, 10(7), 2568, doi:10.3390/su10072568


Journal + Issues