27 Jul 2023, 13:52
Carolina Kyllmann

Germany strengthens lightweight construction to save emissions and raw materials

Clean Energy Wire

The German government has agreed on a ‘lightweight construction strategy’ set to reduce raw material consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The strategy puts forth measures to strengthen lightweight construction technologies and the use of lightweight materials, for example to reduce the weight of airplanes. This could contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. lighter trains, cars or planes require less energy) and primary raw material consumption, with the additional benefit of reducing dependencies too, according to the economy ministry (BMWK). “Lightweight construction combines more innovative power with less resource consumption and therefore has great potential as a transformation technology,” said economy minister Robert Habeck, whose ministry devised the strategy alongside seven others. Advanced manufacturing processes, innovative design approaches and targeted material selection are set to save materials and optimise weight across the automotive, aerospace and construction industries, for example.

Supply bottlenecks caused by the pandemic, as well as gas supply cuts as a result of Russia's war in Ukraine have acutely increased awareness of Germany’s multiple import dependencies. On the path towards decarbonising its economy, Germany’s government is taking steps to reduce raw material and energy import dependencies. The country aims to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2045 and has set the preliminary targets of cutting emissions by at least 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and 88 percent by 2040.

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