Dear Professor Lochte,
Dear Professor Lemke,
Dear Dr. Grosfeld,
Dear guests of the international conference,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
it is an honour for me to welcome you here in Berlin on this high level meeting about climate change.
Berlin is the ideal place for your conference: Berlin is one of the most diverse regions of science in Europe. 38 institutions of higher education, 22 technology parks and 70 research institutions form a comprehensive network of knowledge.
The title of your conference “Our Climate – Our Future” deals with one of the most important issue we all are confronted with in these times of climate change.
In 2013 60 % of the world population lived in cities. Also here in Berlin we are confronted with an increase of population. Till 2030 we expect an increase of population for about 300.000. So Berlin will reach almost 4 million inhabitants. For Berlin this development implicates a number of serious challenges.
A growing city forces us to rethink concepts of providing urban infrastructure, mobility concepts, and of course the way we supply electrical power and its origin in a smart way. Being a truly “smart city” with a smart grid is our goal.
We are strongly convinced that the future lies in the use of renewable energy sources. In Germany, the share of renewable energies in electricity supply has just reached a peak of almost 30% and we intend to reach a share of 80% by 2050.
How are we going to achieve this ambitious goal? This summer a first step was taken: A reform of the federal Renewable Energies Act has been adopted. This reform sets a clear framework for the further development of goals for the share of renewable energies in electricity production. At the same time it ensures that electricity will still be affordable for both the individual citizen and industrial production.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
in the State of Berlin as a Smart City we support a true integration of energy efficiency measures and renewable energies in hands-on projects.
A good example in that respect is the EUREF Campus which serves as an innovative model for a smart city. It is, at the same time, a hub for start-ups with excellent ideas and a university campus.
In addition, we are proud to say that energy efficient transport is lived in Berlin: You will have noticed the numerous cyclists, the excellent public transport and finally the many car sharing opportunities which offer to experience electric mobility. Since April 2012, Berlin and its surroundings, Brandenburg, is one of the four German regions acting as ‘Showcase Region for Electric Mobility’.
The aim is to show that electric mobility is feasible and a good way for sustainable use of energy. In order to achieve this goal, a wide network of partners is working together, ranging from big companies like Siemens, Bosch, Vattenfall and all German car manufacturers to SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and start-ups.
Finding, developing and capitalizing on new sources of energy is a main pillar of a sustainable future and thus a livable planet for generations to come. Therefore we set another focus on the development of power engineering.
With a permanently rising number of employees, companies and annual turnover, this branch is one of the largest growth markets in Berlin.
For example the world’s largest turbine is ‘made in Berlin’ and already today wind turbines in the North Sea are controlled automatically from here.
Ladies and Gentleman,
in Berlin we are not working on these challenges on our own but rather standing shoulder to shoulder with other partners from industry and research. One example is a working group taking up on the European Commission´s Smart Cities and Communities Initiative. Moreover we are working on a master plan for a „Smart City“ Berlin.
Our aim is to implement the Smart City Berlin in a triple-helix-organization with enterprises, research facilities and public administration. We want to set up various projects within the next years.
Our aim as Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research of the State of Berlin is to provide space for innovation and to enable all Berliners to experience the actual uses of smart solutions. By that we want to contribute the further development of Berlin towards an emission-free city. Therefore, we try to develop a framework that is accepted by the user, suitable for daily use, and that fulfills the infrastructural requirements, as well as one that has a minimal negative environmental impact.
We think that with solutions for smart cities that use energy much more efficiently than today and harvest more renewable energies the world´s cities will be contributing to mitigate climate change. We have to act fast.
Finaly I would like to emphasize the importance and value of your work, of all the findings through science and research, which are drivers for innovation and development.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you will have a fruitful discussions during your conference here in Berlin!