German economy ministry announces lightweight construction strategy
Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s economy ministry (BMWi) has announced a lightweight construction strategy for Germany that aims to curb CO2 emissions and increase sustainability in diverse sectors. Outlining the strategy in a paper, the ministry focussed primarily on the automotive/e-mobility, mechanical and plant engineering, aerospace and construction industries. It also addressed shipbuilding, rail transport technology, medical technology and the leisure industry. "Lightweight construction is a cross-sectional technology with great potential: it drives innovation in many industrial sectors and is important when it comes to achieving our climate and sustainability goals,” said BMWi state secretary Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker. “Above all, lightweight technologies are crucial for the sustainable transformation of the mobility sector and for the expansion of renewable energy sources. With the lightweight construction strategy, we want to help further expand Germany's good position in lightweight construction."
The BMWi pointed out that the lower mass of lightweight materials results in less energy that is consumed during its use and CO2 emissions are reduced. “Lightweight construction thus ideally combines the three dimensions of sustainability: economy, ecology and social aspects,” the ministry noted. The BMWi aims to improve framework conditions in order to make even better use of the opportunities offered by the technology and to mobilise its potential in achieving climate and sustainability targets. To that end, the BMWi unveiled a number of measures to support the strategy, including optimising funding conditions for start-ups and SMEs (small & medium-sized companies); strengthening the lightweight construction network; promoting education and training; strengthening technology transfer through standardisation; focussing R&D (research & development) on sustainable lightweight construction; supporting digitalisation and expanding digital infrastructures; and supporting resource-efficient lightweight construction as an enabler for the energy transition.