Germany

germany

Germany is an export-oriented nation with a strong manufacturing industry and well established eco-innovation areas and markets. Since 2013 the Germany’s performance in the Eco-innovation Scoreboard has dropped by one place and ranks fourth in 2014-2015. This is mainly attributed to a downshift in the socio-economic and resource efficiency outcomes. Germany performs particularly well in the subcategories eco-innovation patents and exports of products from eco-industries.

With respect to a circular economy, Germany is characterised by very good waste infrastructures and recycling rates. The present focus on technical waste management and end-of-life measures is simultaneously signalling further demand for innovative waste instruments at the interface of material cycles and new business models. A first step was taken by introducing the Waste Prevention Programme in 2013. A strengthening of the regulatory framework and a better alignment of responsibilities, competencies and approaches towards a circular economy seem important for the increase of secondary input rates and a closing of the loops. The demand for high-tech and waste technologies is expected to remain high in the world and–as one of the market leaders– Germany has a strong standing in exporting innovative waste management solutions.

The German green tech sector is expected to further develop dynamically. The early implementation of the Renewables Energies Act (in 1991) and the introduction of the German Resource Efficiency Programme (ProgRess) in 2012 serve as important and drivers for energy and resource efficiency, eco-innovation and the energy transition in Germany.

The framework conditions for innovation are generally well developed and include both supply and demand-side instruments while there is a pronounced reliance on voluntary and informational approaches at the consumption side. An eco-innovation action plan is under development. Nevertheless, Germany will probably not meet its sustainable development strategy targets for raw material and energy productivity, energy consumption, biodiversity, land use, mobility and farming .

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Germany

Germany

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Product eco-innovation - Functional integration: the resource-efficient building envelope Office building, Erfurt, Refurbishment

Labels: GermanyConstruction
EffciantbuildingThe building envelope, i.e. facade and roof, is of particular importance: It serves as interface between the internal and external environment and thus has major impact on material and thermal flows. Current research aims at integrating various functions constructionally and architecturally into the building envelope without using more material due to increasing thickness. Both the energetic and material optimisation of the building envelope as a functional and creative element is an ambitious aim.
Determinants

Barriers:

  • High investments for building owners required.
  • Skills and know-how in the executing trade is not widespread yet.
  • Split incentives (user-investor dilemma).

Drivers:

  • Mandatory Energy performance certificate (EPC) for building owners.
  • Passive house will be standard for buildings in future according to the energy concept of the Federal Government.

Resourceefficiant

(Photo: gap-solar GmbH)

Sustainability
Buildings are resource-intensive. Up to 40% of the total final energy consumption are caused by the operation of buildings in Germany. New technologies can help to realise energy savings of up to 80%. The functional and aesthetic building integration will play a major role in the future.

Future building materials and facade systems could be multi-functional: innovative glazing and thermal insulation systems protect from heat and cold, absorb sound, produce and save solar energy and control supply of daylight and fresh air - all at the same time. New technologies like adaptive facades, vacuum insulated panels (VIP), phase change materials (PCM) and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) save costs, preserve resources and open up innovative fields in architectural design (Association for Transparent Insulation - FVTWD e.V.).

Further Information

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Eco Innovation in Practice in Germany

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