Energy transition

The Geological Subsurface and Its Potential for the Energy Transition

If Germany’s geological subsurface is mentioned at all in public debate, then usually in the context of the potential exploitation of fossil energy resources such as natural gas. But the deep subsurface harbours many other opportunities that could be harnessed to build a more sustainable economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Tapping into these opportunities will require immense efforts and quite likely some very difficult decisions. So what exactly does the geological subsurface have to offer?

Saving energy doesn’t have to mean social imbalance – but we will need to change our habits

Confronted with the illegal war of aggression launched by Russia against Ukraine, the German government is keen to reduce Germany’s dependence on energy imports from Russia as quickly as possible. Various technical solutions, along with a diversification of energy import sources, have dominated this debate. The possibility that consumers could change their energy consumption patterns has hardly been considered so far. Yet studies in behavioural science suggest that the savings that could be achieved in the near term are significant and could help to strengthen energy security.

Covid-19: What's at stake for the unvaccinated?

Hopes were high last Christmas that the pandemic would subside once a vaccine became available. Twelve months later, it’s obvious that this hope was premature. Roughly 20 percent of the German population have declined to be vaccinated. As the pandemic continues to take its toll, Germany is mired in a bitter debate about vaccines, vaccine mandates, and other containment measures. Exactly why a not inconsiderable minority believes that vaccines pose a greater risk than the disease itself, and therefore refuse to be vaccinated, is puzzling to my colleagues in the field of risk governance and many others besides.

A democracy humiliated: The creeping erosion of truth and civility

The world watched with astonishment and horror at the violence unfolding in and around the Capitol as Congress convened to confirm the results of the United States' presidential election. How is it possible, one wonders, that a country whose traditions of democratic government span more than two hundred and thirty years could fall prey to such chaos?


Lessons from the Corona Crisis for sustainable crisis management

Not since the Second World War has German society experienced a challenge to society that compares to the current global pandemic. While it is not possible at this point to fully assess the implications of this crisis for public health, the economic and society, the measures and regulations adopted to date are unprecedented in post-war German history in terms of their scope and impact on citizens across the country.

Industry 4.0 – taking efficiency to new heights?

The term Industry 4.0 has been bandied about increasingly since it was established in 2011. Also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 describes the growing use of digital technologies to link manufacturing technologies and facilitate continuous real-time data exchange. These manufacturing systems are based on interconnected cyber-physical systems with the capacity to independently organize and optimize their performance. Industry 4.0 promises to fundamentally transform manufacturing industry.