CleanEFX interest group of the Erfurter Kreuz e.V. initiative.

Affordable, clean, regional – Companies are committed to decarbonizing Erfurter Kreuz

Press release /

More than 20 companies from the Erfurter Kreuz e.V. initiative are working together in the CleanEFX interest group to supply the commercial area at Erfurter Kreuz with energy and process heat in a climate-neutral manner. Even before the current geopolitical changes, the project idea was initiated in several workshops by companies and research institutions. The goal is to combine the existing infrastructures at the industrial park, to use process media in sector coupling and to find synergies among each other and in the region. The regional, sustainable energy solution has already inspired other companies and found renowned support in business and politics.

© ThEEN e.V.
© ThEEN e.V.
© Fraunhofer IKTS

The Prime Minister of the Free State of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, receives information on this project approach as part of his summer tour on August 26, 2022, at the premises of the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS. Stakeholders from the companies and institutes already working on solutions based on hydrogen, batteries, renewable energy sources and intelligent material flow projects will present their ideas to the prime minister in an exhibition.

The climatic and geopolitical situation has dramatically increased the pressure on companies regarding their energy supply. Even before the events of February 2022, climate-neutral energy solutions independent of fossil fuels had to be found. Since then, the situation has also worsened economically, with energy prices soaring. At the same time, CO2 pricing of processes and precursors is on the rise. Previous solutions based on renewable energy often represented only isolated approaches, with companies working on stand-alone solutions for their site. The CleanEFX initiative takes a more efficient approach in which capacities and process media are used multiple times in sector coupling, peak loads and surpluses are distributed among each other, and expensive infrastructure is designed and procured jointly. In particular, the connection is made to the region to achieve an affordable, clean, and local energy solution for local providers and consumers.

Dr. Daniel Bader (CEO & Managing Director IHI Charging Systems International Germany GmbH, member of IEK and part of the stakeholder group since the beginning):

“We have been addressing the requirements of CO2 minimization for several years, both in our new technologies and in our manufacturing processes. We have already achieved great success at the site, our media consumption is carbon-neutral. For further improvements up to CO2 neutrality for the region, we need the synergies with other companies and society. From here on, efficiency, multiple use of media and coupling of companies count. No one can achieve this goal alone. That's why we're playing an active role in making it happen.”

Prof. Michael Stelter (Deputy Director Fraunhofer IKTS, Board of Directors Thüringer Erneuerbare Energien Netzwerk (ThEEN) e.V.):

“The technologies for a climate-neutral and secure energy supply from regional sources are basically available, but in the past they were often used too timidly or were slowed down by regulations. With CleanEFX, we are showing that it can be done if you think big, have a clear plan, and all the players pull together. We are demonstrating not only that large industrial sites can be supplied in a climate-neutral manner, but also that an entire region can benefit from such joint approaches. Because beyond energy supply, the new energy technologies also offer the potential for new jobs or the transformation of existing industries into new business fields. Fraunhofer IKTS supports these processes of change at Erfurter Kreuz with its hydrogen center WaTTh and its technological networking into the entire region of Central Germany. And ThEEN can contribute methods from industrial demo-projects for the reduction of CO2 in energy supply.”