Green Economy and Research
Green markets create future prospects
It is not only the Club of Rome that predicts that „the markets of the future are green.“ The renewable energy industry delivers technology and expertise for the rapid phase-out of nuclear power and for Germany‘s alternative energy policy, often referred to as the „Energy Revolution“, which is emphatically driven forward in Germany – according to the Federal government, it will invest up to 550 billion in this by 2050.
A current feasibility study documents the fact that the path to „100% energy from renewables“ can even contribute to regional value creation: according to this study, some 3 billion in investment is needed for renewable energies and some 12 billion for building renovation in the Freiburg region. Regional businesses, trades and employees will benefit greatly from this. The associated ecological target thus serves as an economic stimulus programme – a win-win situation for both ecology and the economy.
Apart from medicine and healthcare, environmental economics and research play a key role in Freiburg: with 12,000 workers in 2,000 fi rms, this sector contributes around 650 million to value creation and to the positive image of the region. In the solar industry alone, which employs over 2,000 people in 100 companies, employment is three to four times the national average, although intensified global competition and consolidation in the solar industry will influence its future development.
Science centres, like the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, function as centres of gravity around which numerous spin-offs, service providers and organisations have clustered: from solar factories to energy agencies, consulting offices to solar architects, the zeroemission hotel to trade and craft enterprises. Agriculture and forestry also benefit from this scientific work, such as the Institute of Viticulture and Oenology, the Forestry Test and Research Institute or research on climate ecology, sustainable forestry and environmental medicine at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg.
700 new jobs have been created in environmental education alone. The University has set up a Centre for Renewable Energy (ZEE) and created the international Master‘s degree in „Renewable Energy Management (M.Sc.)“. The „Green Therm Cool Centre“ demonstration centre, set up by the Freiburg Chamber of Trade and Crafts, delivers innovative theoretical and practical techniques in the future-centric field of solar thermal cooling.
With 1,300 employees, the Freiburg-based Fraunhofer ISE is the largest European solar research institute and is committed to a sustainable, economic, safe and socially fair energy supply system. The Institute develops materials, components, systems and methods for energy efficiency, generation, distribution and storage with the aim of delivering efficient and environmentally-friendly energy.
The Fraunhofer ISE‘s fields of work cover virtually all areas related to alternative energy: from photovoltaic technologies to solar thermal, energy-efficient buildings, system and grid issues and storage technologies to zero-emission transport. The Fraunhofer ISE also has several test centres. The Institute is a member of the Fraunhofer Society, Europe‘s largest organisation for applied research.