Apr 6, 2009

Eighty Percent Energy Efficiency Improvement Possible This Century

Professor Eberhard Jochem Awarded First Bayer Climate Award in Berlin

Bayer has honored the Professor Eberhard Jochem of the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) for "pioneering technical and economic contributions to energy efficiency." Professor Jochem's commitment to environmental causes dates to his childhood, when he observed a cloud of pollution darkening his home while returning to the Ruhr district of Germany from a trip through the Netherlands by bicycle.

Professor Jochem believes that a "commercially profitable 80 percent boost in energy efficiency in the industrialized nations" is possible before the end of this century. By combining his theotical and practical expertise, Professor Jochem has proven that hypothesis, making him a particularly effective advocate for energy efficiency. The key contributors to this tremendous goal are described further below.

Bayer AG Management Board Chairman Werner Wenning presented the award, praising Eberhard Jochem:

More than almost any other researcher, Professor Jochem has worked out and proven that improving energy efficiency is the central lever for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the various areas of our industrialized society.

Especially in times of financial crisis, the most attractive options are commercially profitable as well as environmentally favorable. Professor Jochem's work points to energy efficiency improvements which rely on advances in material sciences, physical and chemical processes, biotechnology and electronics. These include technologies such as:

  • 80% improvement in energy efficiency using membranes rather than thermal separation processes in the chemical industry;
  • Passive houses which require only a tenth of the energy of the average house;
  • Elevators with systems like that used in the Toyota Prius for feeding braking energy back into the grid;
  • Product Service Systems such as machine leasing could reduce energy use in industrial applications by half a percent per year;
  • Management techniques such as recycling, new materials properties and substitution must significantly reduce energy consumption in energy intensive sectors.

Professor Jochem has received the German Federal Cross of Merit in 2001 for his contributions to the German Sustainability Council. He also participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the Nobel Prize. The Bayer Climate Award is sponsored by the Bayer Science & Education Foundation, and carries €50,000 prize, which Professor Jochem is donating to his newly established foundation for climate research.

Courtesy of TreeHugger

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