Press Releases 2020

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  • Falling costs for solar panels and wind turbines equals lower CO2 emissions in the energy sector - if this equation is correct, it would a big step towards achieving the Paris climate goals. Many key renewable energy technologies have indeed become much cheaper in the last few years. However, a study of national energy and climate policies in Argentina, Indonesia and Mexico shows that falling costs for renewables do not automatically result in more climate protection.

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  • "Artificial Intelligence" (AI) is already influencing our lives today and will do so even more in the future. AI-based technologies bring many advantages, but also harbor risks. In this context, a new policy paper by the research consortium "Forum Privacy", which is coordinated by Fraunhofer ISI, makes 15 recommendations on how to not only preserve, but even promote human self-determination in spite of AI.

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  • Road freight transport in Germany is largely based on diesel engines. This is a problem for achieving climate goals. Electrical systems like catenary trucks that are powered by electricity via an overhead line similar to trains would be more efficient and more environmentally-friendly. The infrastructure behind this, a so-called eHighway, is already technically feasible; eHighway systems make ecological and economic sense. The question is: are they socially accepted? Fraunhofer ISI discusses the key points of this technology in a policy brief.

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  • To ensure a high quality of life, especially for future generations, it is important to preserve natural resources along the entire food value chain. A new future study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI uses four different scenarios to provide insights into how natural resources could be used in agriculture in 2035 and what role digital decision support systems can play for farmers in this context.

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  • How will we live in 2040? How will we feed ourselves? What raw materials will we use? A special exhibition at the Senckenberg Naturmuseum in Frankfurt provides insights into tomorrow's world. The exhibition was designed as part of the BioKompass project and can now be visited digitally as well using an interactive augmented reality app. Particularly interesting during corona: The app also functions at home as a virtual tour through the future of the bioeconomy.

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  • The global battery demand will dramatically increase in the next 10 years and beyond. This will create new jobs that require specific battery knowledge and skills. But which future skills are exactly needed? To answer this question, Fraunhofer ISI in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Battery Alliance and the Fraunhofer Academy conducts a new online survey which addresses battery experts from industry and public organisations. The survey runs until November 30th.

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  • The reduced economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic means that the demand for electricity in Germany will decline by about six percent in 2020. If the economy recovers next year, demand will only increase by five percent according to a forecast by Fraunhofer ISI - and therefore will not return to pre-crisis levels, at least for some time. The decisive factors here are improved energy efficiency in every area on the one hand, and increasing demand in the sectors of transport, heating in buildings and IT on the other hand.

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  • Many social and technological trends are influencing our food system – but what could the European food sector look like in 2035 and which role will play sustainability? To answer these questions, a new study within the European FOX research project presents three scenarios of alternative developments for the food sector along its entire value chain – from production and processing through packaging and logistics to sales and consumption. Each scenario has a different focus on policy, industry or research.

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  • Hydrogen-powered trucks feature prominently in Germany's National Hydrogen Strategy and are one way to decarbonize road freight transport. Refueling infrastructure is a decisive factor for this technology to catch on. Fraunhofer ISI has calculated that a network of 140 refueling stations is enough to meet the hydrogen demand of fuel cell trucks in 2050. The costs for this amount to around nine billion euros per year.

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