CLEANTECH-LOCATION - SAXONY
Environmental technology is one of the Saxon key sectors
Here, growth is generated, the regional value creation is enhanced and new jobs are created. The field of Cleantech has great potential. International and regional comparisons show that innovative companies from Saxony score with high technical know-how and many years of experience. In general, most of the East German Cleantech companies are based in Saxony. The share of this sector in the Saxon GDP amounts to more than 11 % and is thus clearly above the average in Germany with approx. 8.5 %
source: Cleantechsite survey 2013
Among other things, this is due to the fact that many new environmental technologies in the environment of traditional industrial locations have been (further) developed in Saxony.
The Cleantech companies are assigned to the following lead markets:
- Environmentally friendly energies and energy storage (35 %),
- Circular Economy (24 %),
- Sustainable water management (22 %),
- Energy efficiency (9 %),
- Raw material and material efficiency (5 %) and Sustainable mobility (5 %)
The Saxon Cleantech companies employ more than 20,000 employees: Excellent technical know-how can be found in the fields of Contaminated sites and soil rehabilitation, Recycling, Water and circular economy as well as Photovoltaics.
In Saxony, the lead market "Environmentally friendly energies and energy" promotes the shaping of the future energy supply and contributes to securing the future energy supply of the federal state. The main focus is on the expansion of the renewable energies as well as the improvement of the energy conservation and the development of storage technologies. At present, the energy sources photovoltaics, wind and biomass form the backbone of the energy turnaround in Saxony.
According to statistics, approx. 17 % (approx. 4,958 GWh) of the Saxon final electricity consumption were covered by wind power, biomass, solar power, water as well as sewage gas and landfill gas in 2014. Thus, the share of renewable energies increased by approx. 59 % compared to 2010. The existence and the expansion potential of the individual energy sources in Saxony greatly differ. By now, the pioneer regarding the installed electrical power is photovoltaics with 1,480 MW. Thus, photovoltaics has taken the leading position from the wind power (installed power approx. 1,066 MV, 857 plant).
In order to be able to securely integrate wind and solar electricity into the existing grid, to stabilise the electricity grid and thus enable a successful energy turnaround, an industrial battery storage was - in Saxony - developed and connected to the grid by the municipal energy supplier DREWAG. The battery storage has an output of 2 MW with an installed storage capacity of 2.7 MWh. Lithium-ion cells are used.
The "Circular economy" is one of the most important fields of environmental technology in Saxony. It includes Waste management, Recycling, Environmental remediation and Emission reduction in the industry. In the field of Contaminated sites/soil rehabilitation in particular, many projects were implemented in Saxony, which contributed to the expansion of specialist knowledge and the development of innovative technologies. Saxon skills in the field of Contaminated sites, Soil rehabilitationand Restructuring of mining are in demand internationally. With the Bergakademie Freiberg University of Technology as competence centre in particular, the Free State of Saxony has one of the world’s leading institutions in this field. For example, the LMBV mbH (Lusatian and Central German Mining Management Company - Lausitzer- und MitteldeutscheBergbauverwertungsgesellschaftmbH) used the environmental-friendly and economic rehabilitation of the disused open-cast mines and finishing plants to establish industry or allow the touristic use. At present, the recultivation is carried in the field of water management as current key aspect.
In the field of “Sustainable water management”, most of the environmental projects are allotted in Saxony to the field of wastewater management. Regarding the development, planning and construction of sewerage systems, Saxon companies have expert knowledge, which is really unique in the world. In Saxony alone, approx. 1.3 billion € were invested in the drinking water supply and more than 6 billion € in the wastewater disposal in the past 20 years. As a wastewater disposal company, the Stadtentwässerung Dresden GmbH operates one of the most modern sewage plants in Germany. At the Dresden-Kaditzlocation, roughly 70% of the total energy consumption of the company is covered by electricity from biogas, solar power and Kaplan turbines1.
1Axially stalled water turbine with adjustable impeller
In Saxony, various research projects have been carried out in the field of "Sustainable mobility" and, in particular, concerning storage technologies. For the Saxon industry, the vehicle construction and the development of intelligent transport systems and transport technology are traditionally important sectors. In co-operation with research institutions such as the Dresden University of Technology, the Dresden University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, promising mobility technologies are developed in Saxony - already today. As model region-Electromobility showcase programme of the Federal Government, Saxony has further focused on the issues regarding public transport (e.g. project SaxMobility II), railway transportation (e.g. project “EcoTrain”) and waste management (project EBALD). They should become of increasingly importance in the future - especially in the so-called megacities.