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Long-term scenarios for the transformation of energy system in Germany


Deckblatt Bericht Leistudie17.10.2017 The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has published first results of the long-term and climate scenarios, that were developed by Fraunhofer ISI, Consentec and ifeu based on extensive simulations. Various scenarios investigate the cost-optimized development of the German energy system until 2050, with a special focus on the electricity sector. ifeu has contributed to scenario development and ecological assessment. The results (in German) are available here. The project is not yet finalized. In the coming months, further scenarios will be investigated and published.

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ifeu is moving


Foto Umzugswagen28.09.2017 ifeu is moving. Our old domicile will be renovated and will in part be rebuilt to high ecological standards. In about one and a half years, we hope to be back at Wilckensstrasse.

In the meantime, from October 1st, our address is:
Im Weiher 10
69121 Heidelberg

Google Maps

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Rapid Planning Mid-term Conference at UN Habitat in Nairobi


Rapid Planning Nairobi13.09.2017 The Rapid Planning Project is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is being implemented by a consortium of 11 universities and research organizations from Germany, by UN-Habitat and in cooperation with a number of partner institutions in the project countries Vietnam, Rwanda and Egypt, thereby representing three global regions (South East Asia, Sub-Sahara Africa and the Arab States) plus Germany. The Mid-term Conference was held at the headquarters of UN-Habitat in Nairobi and was a stocktaking and work-show of the project implementation during its first phase from 2014 until 2017. ifeu scientists Bernd Franke and Christin Zeitz presented research results regarding decentral greywater treatment in informal settlements, urban material flow analysis and the practical implementation project in Kigali, Ruanda.

Further information and presentations are available here

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„Capacity Building in bioenergy sustainability indicators for Viet Nam”


01.08.2017 Meanwhile, many countries have implemented the sustainability indicators for bioenergy issued by the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP). ifeu was involved in the development of these indicators, and in cooperation with IINAS, has applied them in Germany. Currently, ifeu supports the implementation of the indicators in Viet Nam, Paraguay, Kenya and Ethiopia. The FAO and UN Environment are executing this project sponsored by the German International Climate protection initiative (ICI). The work in Viet Nam is the most advanced of these project locations. In Hanoi, a workshop and training session for the application of the indicators was performed from July 17th-21st. ifeu’s expertise was requested during this course most on the themes greenhouse gas balances, non-GHG air pollutants, land use and land-use change.

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Results of the Rapid Planning Project in Kigali in the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich


04.07.2017 For the project Rapid Planning (Research for sustainable development of urban growth centers in Africa and Asia), funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research BMBF, ifeu scientists develop rapidly applicable planning methods for fast growing cities, linking the sectors energy, water, waste water, solid waste and urban agriculture. In Agatare, an informal settlement in Kigali/Rwanda, a pilot project implements measures with the components of greywater treatment, erosion control, integration of urban agriculture, waste utilization and green buildings. In a very illustrative form, methods and results are shown with models, displays, photos, films and documents in the exhibition Out There, Landscape Architecture on Global Terrain, Pinakothek der Moderne, Barer Straße 40, Munich/Germany. The exhibition was created by the Rapid Planning Team at TU Berlin and is open until August 20th, 2017.

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1st International Symposium of SEEMLA successfully completed


Copyright: Werner Gerwin, BTU Cottbus 03.05.2017 On 25 April 2017, the 1st International Symposium of the H2020-funded SEEMLA project was held on the occasion of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2017in Vienna, Austria. More than 14,500 scientists attended this conference. Organised and executed by SEEMLA partners BTU Cottbus and FNR, 50-60 persons participated in the whole-day SEEMLA presentation event.

Nils Rettenmaier from ifeu co-authored a presentation (Galatsidas et al. 2017) and presented a poster entitled „Life Cycle Assessment of Bioenergy from Lignocellulosic Crops Cultivated on Marginal Land in Europe“.

The 2nd International SEEMLA Symposium will be held in 2018, most likely on the occasion of the 26th EUBCE.
Further information:

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Biobased plastics in beverage packaging – ifeu presents results of LCA for Scandinavia in Stockholm


LCA_Nordic_Seminar_Copyright_Tetra_Pak24.04.2017 Upon the invitation of Tetra Pak, Stefanie Markwardt from the ifeu team presented the results of the “Comparative Cycle Assessment of Tetra Pak carton packages and alternative packagings for liquid food on the Nordic market” in Stockholm, Sweden, conducted by ifeu. Special attention was given to the key findings of the Swedish market and the overarching conclusions and recommendations of the study.

The study aims to provide an up-to date knowledge regarding the environmental strengths and weaknesses of Tetra Pak’s key carton packages (partly with biobased plastics) as well as key alternative packages in the beverage segments dairy, juice, nectar and still drinks (JNSD) as well as grab and go in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The study was performed in accordance with the relevant ISO standards (ISO 14040 and ISO 14044) and accompanied by a critical review process.

Download of presentation (903 KB)
Download of LCA-study (7,3 MB)

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29.03.2017 The US conversion area Patrick-Henry-Village (PHV) is to become a „Knowledge City of Tomorrow“. In a one-year planning phase „zero“ , renowned international urban planners developed scenarios in dialogue with local experts and stakeholders from Heidelberg. The approaches of international planners were presented in the Hermann-Maas-Haus in Heidelberg-Kirchheim, using a large scale model. About 300 people came to see the model and share their comments. The vision for PHV as presented there will become the baseline for an intensive development process. On behalf of the Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA), ifeu contributed to the process by providing local know-how regarding material and energy flows. Pilot projects in the „new PHV“ are to support the goal of Heidelberg‘s long-term climate protection strategy (e.g. by way of low-ex district heat). Furthermore, water consumption is to be minimized, and biomass-based construction materials and urban agriculture are to be supported.



© IBA Heidelberg _ Christian Buck (click to enlarge)


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„Thirsty Goods” go on a journey to the international trade fair „Wasser“ in Berlin


Durstige_Gueter_Quelle_BUND_Heidelberg27.03.2017 On this year’s World Water Day, March 22nd 2017, the travelling exhibition “Thirsty Goods” („Durstige Güter“) was opened in the Welthaus in Heidelberg. Many visitors sought advice on how to reduce their consumption of virtual water in their shopping basket.

Between March 28 and March 31, 2017 the exhibition will be presented at the international trade fair „Wasser“ (Water) in Berlin. Wasser Berlin International is Germany’s specialized, international marketing platform for water.
Afterwards, „Thirsty Goods“ can be visited in the Welthaus in Heidelberg again.

The food we eat and other goods we consume require water at the source of production, and they are imported from locations all over the world. Finally, when they end up on our plates we can only speculate about their water footprint and their history of origin.

The exhibition shows the histories of our products in twelve stations.

Further information on locations and visiting times can be found on the project website

The exhibition is a project of Friends of the Earth (BUND) Heidelberg collaborating with the ifeu, the German Water Protection Association (VDG e.V.) and Prototypen Exhibition Concepts, Berlin. It was funded by the Federal Environmental Agency and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

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140 L of water for one cup of coffee – is that a problem?


Durstige_Gueter14.03.2017 An answer to the question above, among many others around water as a resource, can be found in the travelling exhibition ‘Durstige Güter’ (Thirsty Goods). It will be launched on 22. March 2017 – World Water Day – in Heidelberg in the Welthaus with a subsequent travelling schedule across Germany. (Click on poster to enlarge.)

The food we eat and other goods we consume, which require water at the source of production, are imported from locations all over the world. Finally, when they end up on our plates we can only speculate about their water footprint and their history of origin.

The exhibition shows the histories of our products in twelve stations. The visitors get introduced to the symbols for virtual water, green, grey and blue water drops as well as to the different countries of origin of certain products. The background stories of our products give the drops a greater role with regard to ecological and social factors and help us reflect our own consumer behavior.

Finally, the visitors get advice on how to reduce their consumption of virtual water in their shopping basket. But which product labels are really helpful? Many labels are currently not matured regarding criteria for water use and consumption in the supply chains.

Water issues are considered to varying extents for the criteria of sustainability labels. To promote further developments, visitors of the exhibition get the opportunity to develop their own suggestions. These suggestions will be forwarded directly to the Federal Agency of Environment of Germany (UBA).

The exhibition is a project of Friends of the Earth (BUND) Heidelberg collaborating with the ifeu, the German Water Protection Association (VDG e.V.) and Prototypen Exhibition Concepts, Berlin. It was funded by the Federal Environmental Agency and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

After the formal opening, the exhibition may be booked on loan from the Friends of the Earth Heidelberg. Further information on locations and visiting times can be found as of March 22, 2017 on the project website

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Second SEEMLA newsletter published

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Project BioMates launched: Bio-oils for co-processing


24.01.2017 In early December 2016, the BioMates project (“Reliable Bio-based Refinery Intermediates”) kicked off with a meeting in Brussels. Receiving funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, the project puts together eight partners from five EU member states and is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT in Oberhausen. The four-year project aims at manufacturing intermediate products made from wood-like or stalk-like non-food biomass, e.g. from agricultural residues and perennial grasses, which are suitable for co-processing in conventional crude-oil-based refineries. Within the project, ifeu will be responsible for the integrated sustainability assessment of the investigated pathways together with Imperial College from London.

Further information ...

Press release (pdf 230 kB)

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10 Years GBEP

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30.11.2016 PROTEIN2FOOD is expected to provide a substantial contribution to the ongoing scientific and political discussions in the field of sustainable agriculture, by developing crop-based, protein-rich, and environmentally friendly alternatives for meat-based diets.

These project aims were presented by Andreas Detzel (IFEU) with a poster titled; “PROTEIN2FOOD – a Horizon 2020 project on novel plant-based protein-rich food for fostering sustainable food consumption”, at the 10th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment of Food.


Potential contribution to protein supply within different diet patterns through novel P2F food products


This event took place in October at University College Dublin (UCD) and involved the discussion of major topics related to sustainable agriculture and the contribution of human systems in the food chain, focusing particularly on different dietary patterns and the environmental impact they might have. Ensuring future protein supply for food and feed was among the most highly discussed issues.
Andreas Detzel (IFEU) presenting the Protein2Food poster at the LCA Food Conference 2016 at UCD

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(Bulk) purchase of bio-based plastic products in the public and entrepreneurial sectors

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Renewbility - Decarbonising Transport


10.11.2016 ifeu presented the results of the research study Renewbility in Berlin together with its partners – Öko-Institut, DLR und INFRAS – and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

In order to reach the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, the transport sector in Germany has to be decarbonised by 2050. The main strategies are a maximum increase in vehicle efficiency and a complete shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies. This can be achieved cost-effectively if cities, in particular, adopt new vehicle concepts such as electric cars and if they boost efficient public transport. With these strategies, the transport sector in Germany could be free of climate emissions by 2050, and moreover, an increased quality of life in urban areas would result.

In the project Renewbility, ifeu focused on pre-chain emissions of vehicles. This included the emissions during vehicle production and fuel supply. Additionally, the future material demand for vehicle fleets was assessed. The website provides the results of the project (in German).

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Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement signed between Urumqi Building Energy Conservation Association and ifeu


Foto Bernd Franke23.08.2016 Urumqi/China. Ifeu has a successful long-term collaboration in energy efficiency activities with the City of Urumqi in Northwest China that was initially funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). One major achievement was Xingfubao the first passive house in the extreme cold climate zone. Planning for a 3,500 m2 office building of the Rui Xiang window factory was recently completed with support from ifeu; construction will start in September 2016. The City of Urumqi, research organizations and further stakeholders in Urumqi have started the Urumqi New Building Materials and Building Energy Conservation Association to expand activities in the area of energy conservation in the building sector and enhance the use of sustainable construction of building materials. The improved recycling of construction waste materials is also in the association’s focus. The Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the association and ifeu is designed to expand the basis for further cooperation. The Association’s executive director, Ms. PENG Xioayan, stressed the benefit for China in learning from Germany’s Energiewende (energy transition). Bernd Franke, scientific director at ifeu outlined the good prospects for German companies offering energy efficiency consulting, training of personnel, and specific energy efficient products.

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Survey of Global Material Flows


Cover of the Report09.08.2016 The current report of the International Resource Panel of the United Nations Environment Programme, to which the ifeu Institute contributed, analyses global resource use between 1970 and 2010. The report builds on existing global datasets on material flows which were developed further and brought together for the UNEP report. The ifeu Institute contributed by preparing and calculating global physical trade data.

The report presents a variety of empirical results from economy-wide material flow analysis analysed by different criteria such as regional affiliation, income and welfare differences and differentiated by raw material categories. The report shows for example that the extraction of raw materials has tripled globally during the observed period while the amount of internationally traded goods quadrupled. Global average resource use (measured in terms of domestic material consumption) has increased from 6 to 10 tons per capita. According to the report the average amount for Germany was 16 tons in 2010.

The report is available here ....

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First Newsletter by the SEEMLA project

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Pilot project on Bio-Oil Transformers


photo bio-oil transformer (Guido Reinhardt)07.07.2016 Transformers that transform power from medium voltage to low voltage currently mostly contain mineral oil as insulating fluid. IFEU now accompanies a pilot project by the German grid operator Netze BW in collaboration with Siemens and the University of Stuttgart in which initially 100 bio-oil transformers are introduced. Already this pilot operation saves around 36 t of mineral oil. The new bio-oil from rapeseed shows comparable insulation properties and is moreover regarded as non-toxic. IFEU studies in a screening life cycle assessment which climate change mitigation and other environmental impacts arise from this. If accompanying tests are successful, Netze BW plans to use bio-oil transformers in future maintenance and replacement operations of its 26,500 distribution transformers.

For more information see the press release of Netze BW [German].

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Bio-based Plastics for Food Packaging

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Evaluation of Mercury Emissions from the Thermal Power Station Munich North

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