Chancellor Olaf Scholz visits PIK and GFZ

12/04/2023 - During a visit to Potsdam's Telegrafenberg early Monday morning, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Brandenburg's Research Minister Manja Schüle spoke with researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). The discussion in the Historical Library centred on the potential and challenges of geothermal energy and underground hydrogen storage.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz visits PIK and GFZ
First row from the left: Gunnar Luderer, Bettina Hörstrup, Manja Schüle, Olaf Scholz, Susanne Buiter (photo: Reinhardt & Sommer)

After a brief introduction of both research institutions by director Susanne Buiter (GFZ) and director Bettina Hörstrup (PIK), Gunnar Luderer, head of the Energy Systems Group at PIK, informed the Chancellor about current findings on the energy transition towards a climate-neutral energy system. Using results from the Ariadne project, he reported on the effects of transformation and innovation on the energy system, the progress that has already been made and on areas, where action is particularly needed.

Susanne Buiter then provided information on the status of research and ongoing projects in the field of geothermal energy at the GFZ. This was followed by half an hour of intensive conservation about the potential and challenges of the various technological approaches. The visit ended with a tour of a laser ranging station for satellites, a spin-off from the GFZ.

At the end of his one-and-a-half-hour visit, the Chancellor was impressed by "the smart mountain", as Manja Schüle called the Telegrafenberg. In his brief statement to the press, Olaf Scholz explained that he had gained many new insights: "I also got answers to many questions that have been bothering me for a long time. We have set ourselves the goal of achieving a climate-neutral economy by 2045 and remaining an economically successful country that also markets its technologies worldwide. The technologies that I learnt a few more aspects of today play a major role in achieving this," said Scholz.

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