Remarks welcoming the Korean Students to Freiburg

Remarks welcoming the Korean Students to Freiburg

12.08.2009 9:30 Rathaus Aula

Welcome to green city, I have prepared some remarks and hope to tell you about our city a little

Scientific analysis has shown that ¾ of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the city of Freiburg are caused by the energy sector and approximately ¼ by the traffic.

In 1996 the city council of Freiburg passed a resolution to reduce the CO2 emissions by 25% of the 1992 level by the year 2010, obviously we have not reached that target, so we passed an even more ambitious plan: in 2007 the we defined a new very ambitious long-term reduction–goal for 2030 by 40 %. A recent evaluation for the year 2005 led to the result, that Freiburg reduced its CO2-emmissions by  7.3 % in all and by 13 % per capita.

This means we have to implement a variety of policy solutions:

  1. traffic management and a eco friendly modal split
  2. green energy supply
  3. Co generation
  4. Urban planning
  5. Renovation of existing structures

The traffic concept has two focal points: the local transportation system and the cycle-path policy.

Local public transportation  involves the combination of trams, buses and railway. As early as 1984, Freiburg introduced an ”Environment ticket”, a ticket valid for a month and covering the entire network of local public transportation. In the meantime, the network has grown into a very extensive regional transportation association, which includes the city of Freiburg and two administrative districts (counties), ranging from the French border up into the black Forrest.

If we are to meet our CO2 reduction aims, we will have to build all the proposed tram extensions, that means

Our second focal point, the cycle-path policy. Now we have more than 400 kilometres of bicycle paths or cycle-lanes in Freiburg. One third of all journeys per year are done by bicycle.

In Solar we have a unique concentration of a scientific research institutes, architectural know-how and dozens of prototype and demonstration projects, additionally there are hundreds of projects which are operating profitably

Solar electricity production in Freiburg has increased very fast over the past years. The figures for 2008 are:

  • photovoltaic systems in Freiburg: total peak power 10 MW
  • Freiburg has 47,6  Watts of PV installed per inhabitant. This puts Freiburg on a top position in Germany per capita
  • thermal collectors: 13.600 m²

For those wishing to invest in solar energy systems                                                        – for example in private home – there are national subsidy programs and, in addition,  our own regional energy supply company offers financial support. (Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz)

Even though Freiburg is the City with the most solar power systems per capita in Germany, only 0,85 % of the city’s electricity is produced by such systems in 2007

Cogeneration, means combined heat and power stations produce environmentally-friendly energy and heat.

In cooperation with a large industrial company we have realized a cogeneration plant with 60 MW The heat is used by the company itself, the most part of the electricity is fed to the city’s power grid.

This and 25 smaller cogeneration plants in Freiburg generate more about 50% of the total electricity for the city.

Urban planning

Low energy building, remote district heating, rainwater drainage and the connection to the city tramways are a few examples for this kind of sustainable planning. Since the realisation of this first ecological residential area in the 90’s, more areas respecting ecological, economical und social needs have been developed.

For the future development of the city, Freiburg has prepared a new zoning plan. With the thoughts of the Agenda 21 in mind, citizens of Freiburg took part in the process of the development of this plan.

Renewing exisiting structures

But we will not be able to achieve our 40% reduction goal if we exclude our existing houses and developments. As a city we already feel the pain strongly: Energy Costs have increased 48% in the last years. This is money we cannot spend on education, youth or other urgently needed projects.

But this is not only a ecological problem, it has social impacts as well: Low income households struggle to spend an increasing amount of their money for heating and electrical power.

This is because we have decided to convert one of the large high-rise residential towers in Weingarten into a Passive house. The effect on the tenants will be that they have a higher rent but pay considerably less on energy and heating in the future.

From next year we will have Peer-to-Peer Advice for low income Households. And train people to go around in their neighbourhoods to give lifestyle advice on how to safe energy.

All new schools and all extensions of schools or renovations of city buildings will be passive houses. That will include our central fire station. This year alone we will spend about 40 Mio. Euros on such projects.

But if you have some questions, I’m hope I can answer those now.

(Thank you to Mr. Wörner from the Enviroment Departement for the figures)