Ulrich Dietz.automotiveIT

GFT Technologies CEO Ulrich Dietz

The IT industry would benefit if electricity providers move away from nuclear power toward more alternative energy, the head of a German IT group said.

Ulrich Dietz, CEO of Germany's GFT Technologies, said the German IT industry could see 50,000 new jobs resulting directly from an increase in renewable energy generation.

Dietz cited smart grids in particular as an area where IT expertise will be required. "That's a huge opportunity for the German IT industry," he said in a press release.

Germans have been lukewarm supporters of nuclear energy and the recent atomic reactor accident in Japan has increased negative sentiment. Even the traditionally pro-nuclear center-right government of Angela Merkel is rethinking its approach to the nuclear power industry.

Dietz said modern IT solutions can be a catalyst in the growth of renewable energy. That is because IT can help change electricity demand cycles to the changing availability of solar and wind energy. The intelligent management of electricity supply and demand is one of the key challenges in the further development of alternative energy sources, Dietz said.

"We need a competition of ideas for smart grids," he said.

Stuttgart-based GFT Technologies specializes in designing and implementing IT solutions for the financial-services industry. In 2010, the company's pretax profit rose 47 pc to 11.5 million euros on a 15 pc jump in group sales to 248 million euros.