Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry will open a competence centre for climate protection in energy-intensive industries (KEI) in Cottbus later this year. This was announced by State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth during the kick-off meeting at the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) in Cottbus.
Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs Jörg Steinbach, BTU President Christiane Hipp, Cottbus Mayor Holger Kelch and representatives of associations and other institutions also took part in the kick-off meeting. A total of €2 million is earmarked for the construction of the centre in the federal budget this year.
State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth said: “With the establishment of the Competence Centre in Cottbus, we are demonstrating that we take the necessary structural change in Lusatia just as seriously as the coalition exit. Converting the industry climate neutral in the medium to long term is a national and international mammoth task. Ideas and innovations for this conversion will come from Cottbus in the future. That’s why we need the support of the country, the region and the city. In this way, Lusatia can make an important contribution to the climate-friendly development of Germany as an industrial location and profit from it itself.”
The establishment of the competence centre for climate protection in energy-intensive industries (KEI) is entrusted to the gGmbH Future – Environment Society (ZUG) founded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment.
The idea for the Competence Centre is a result of the dialogue with the energy-intensive sectors, which the Federal Ministry for the Environment leads with companies and associations to implement the climate protection goals in the industrial sector. It is intended to promote the decarbonisation of energy-intensive processes in close cooperation with research institutions, industry and international institutions.
The research needs are to be identified, research clusters formed, and financing options identified and developed. Within the framework of knowledge platforms and exchanges of experience nationally and internationally, the KEI is to participate as a source of ideas for the transition from research and development to the market introduction of innovative climate protection technologies.
In addition, it is planned to entrust the centre of excellence with the involvement of the Federal Environmental Agency in Dessau with the implementation of the planned funding program for decarbonisation in industry, for which funds are also provided in the federal budget.
The KEI focuses on energy-intensive industries such as steel, cement, lime, parts of the chemical industry and non-ferrous metallurgy, where not only energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, but also technically and physically conditioned process emissions that are difficult to avoid play a role.
In order to achieve the goal of a far-reaching greenhouse gas neutrality in line with the objectives of the Climate Action Plan 2050 in these sectors, it is necessary to make leaps and bounds and thus to reorganise entire process chains and processes. The findings will also be usable in other industries.