Picture credits: Standortagentur Tirol

Green projects

Biomass free of particulates. The picture shows the SynCraft team testing gas quality with a gasifier in Schwaz: the sample liquid is as clear as glass and, therefore, clean.

Under the watchful eye

It's getting warmer. Throughout the entire Alpine region, too. By 2 degrees in the next 30 years, according to the experts. Holidaymakers in Tirol in summer are delighted – because a new rainfall distribution would mean that the sun shines more often in summer.

Which in turn is a subject for other people's proactive work. To a much greater extent than the Alpine ecosystem, the Tiroleans are working on strategies today for the profitable implementation of climatic development. For example at alpS, the leading research institution for climate change adaption in mountain regions. More than 60 partners from business and science are developing climate- and socio-economic scenarios, researching the impact, opportunities and risks of global climate change on regional and local human-environment systems, giving advice on energy development plans and developing marketable technologies for integrating the use of natural resources, even in the future.

With the natural contribution to climate protection and top-level research on photovoltaics, solarthermics, biomass, etc., the people in Tirol have one main thing: a watchful eye on their beloved companions, the forests, the waters, the mountain meadows and the glaciers. By specialising in climate change adaption they are going one better: they're inspiring social change, promoting sustainable development, reducing vulnerabilities and taking advantage of new market opportunities. Just like you would expect of the people in Tirol. Here just a small selection of projects that have got what it takes to support the energy transition significantly.

alpS: Tirol is adapting itself
At the COMET K1 research centre alpS, they are quantifying, analysing and evaluating climate change phenomena in the mountain areas in the GEO, HYDRO and BIO fields. Based on this, early warning systems, management strategies, renewable resources and landscape concepts are being researched, solutions, technologies and strategies developed and adapted and used. Numerous alpS innovations are already being implemented in Tirol – and will benefit alpine regions all around the world.
Find out more:www.alp-s.at/cms/

Sinfonia: Innsbruck, the Smart City
Innsbruck and Bolzano, the regional capitals of Tirol and South Tirol, are becoming smart cities. By 2018, technical innovations and measures are going to reduce the energy demand in selected districts by 40 to 50 per cent, the proportion of renewable energies of total demand will increase by 20 per cent, reduce CO2 emissions and, therefore, continually improve the quality of life. How? With a high-quality renovation of building stock, with heating and cooling networks that are going to provide the districts with a high proportion of renewable energies and intelligent power grids that can deal with renewable energy sources. Add to this investments worth millions, which the European Union is funding with its EU project Sinfonia. Five European towns from Seville to Boras are going to adapt the Innsbruck and Bolzano measures. And a number of European towns have already expressed their interest in the results.
Find out more: www.smartcities-sinfonia.eu

Green energy from organic waste
Not raw materials, but residual materials is what SynCraft founder Marcel Huber is using to generate power and heat. He is working together with the process technology at the Management Center Innsbruck and other Tirolean specialists such as Thöni Industries and Falkner Maschinenbau on the K-Regio "PowerBox" R&D project, which entails refining the patented floating bed gasification technology that converts residual material e.g. shrub cuttings, agricultural waste, bark or old wood into energy as a very pure gas without producing any particulates. And their use in small decentralised power stations. One of them was recently built in Dornbirn, two more are in development.
Find out more: www.syncraft.at

Urban Water Footprint Project: following the trail of water
As towns grow, water supply and disposal is becoming more and more of a challenge. To ease water management in towns, scientists, including researchers at the University of Innsbruck and at alpS, are developing a special tool. It will help towns to observe their water consumption and be able to adapt to modified conditions. And the various towns compare their methods. The Innsbruck Water Lab is focusing on indirect and virtual water consumption as well as raising pupils' awareness of the subject matter.
Find out more: www.urban-wftp.eu/en/

Thin film, huge impact
Thin-film solar cells are characterised by their flexibility, low weight and high current output in diffuse light conditions. This is why they are also extremely suitable for being integrated into buildings, vehicles and devices. The Tirolean company Sunplugged, therefore, developed a flexible photovoltaic foil that can be cut to size individually for these kinds of applications. And is driving research and implementation in projects such as "Synercis" and "Solardesign". For the first project, they are working with seven Austrian partners on increasing the efficiency of CIS solar cells.
Find out more: www.sunplugged.at

Research success

Generate hydrogen more efficiently

Scientists at the Universities of Innsbruck and Vienna are making an important contribution to making thermal electrolysis of water an efficient energy storage method one day:

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Links

Because about two thirds of end energy demand and up to 70% of CO2 emissions are produced in towns, European towns have to be far more efficient - and get "smart".. Innsbruck and Bolzano show how to get there:

Motor

Looking for R&D partners and even more exciting projects?

The Renewable Energies Cluster Tirol is the hub for cooperation and innovations in this field. The Tirol competence atlas has all of the members:

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