becoming climate-neutral, remaining competitive – striking a balance between these two goals will be the central concern of the clay brick and tile industry in the forthcoming decades.
How our industry can become climate-neutral by 2050 in line with the Green New Deal and Germany’s Federal Climate Change Act is shown impressively in the recently published roadmap drawn up by FutureCamp for a greenhouse-gas-neutral brick and tile industry in Germany (page 28). With the use of green hydrogen and green electricity, high-temperature heat pumps, biogenic pore-forming agents as well as a large number of other optimization measures, it may be possible to enable a largely greenhouse-gas-neutral production of clay masonry bricks and roofing tiles, that is the conclusion of the study.
With a view to competitiveness, however, it is becoming clear just how huge the challenges are. Besides sufficient access to green energy sources, the clay brick and tile plants need competitive energy prices. Important investment volume is already shrinking because of high energy and CO2 costs. In total, the investment spending of the clay brick and tile industry in Germany is estimated at 2.3 bill. euros by 2050 – in addition, in the goal year 2050 energy costs of just under 920 mill. euro would come on top. These are sums of money that can’t be managed without political backing and attractive incentives.
So that a balance can be struck between climate protection and cost efficiency, the brick and tile industry needs reliable and fair conditions. These include stable carbon leakage protection, more efficient approval procedures, extensive support programmes, and not least healthy, market-oriented competition. The roadmap is intended to serve above all as a basis for discussion, for controversial discussion with political decision-makers, but also within the industry, in order to take the right steps for the future.
A good opportunity for discourse is provided by the Annual Meeting of Tiles and Bricks Europe (TBE), which is currently set to take place in Berlin on 23. und 24.09.2021 and to which I should already like to warmly invite you today.
We look forward to talking to you then!
Dr Matthias Frederichs