Köhler presented the German Environmental Award
The German Environmental Award conferred by theDeutschen Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU, Osnabrück) was presented for the 17th time on Sunday, 25 October 2009. The award with the highest endowment of any European environmental awards at 500,000 euros is shared in three equal parts in 2009 by the entrepreneur duo Petra Bültmann-Steffin (39, Neuenrade) and Dr. Carsten Bührer (39, Rheinbach), the scientist Prof. Dr. Bo Barker Jørgensen (63, Bremen) and honorary chair of the Bund für Umwelt- und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND), Dr. Angelika Zahrnt (65, Neckargemünd). On the occasion of the awards ceremony at the congress hall Augsburg the German Federal President pointed out that the prizewinners of 2009 represented three prototypes of key issues which will be decisive for the next decades: science, technology and social change.
Dr. Wolfgang Plischke, member of the jury and of the board of directors of the Bayer AG, joined in via videoconference explained regarding the entrepeneur duo Petra Bültmann-Steffin / Dr. Carsten Bührer that huge amounts of energy are consumed in the metal producing and working industry, approx. three per cent of the worldwide consumption. The entrepeneur duo developed a special induction heater based on what are known as high temperature superconductors by which half the energy can be saved – equivalent to a production of four coal-fired power plants in Germany. With their great entrepneurial courage Petra Bültmann Steffin und Dr. Carsten Bührer had shown “that just small- and medium sized companies” could contribute with their innovations to protect the climate and the environment.
Petra Bültmann-Steffin and Dr. Carsten Bührer – both 39 years old and therefore the youngest prizewinners of the Environmental Award – pointed out that the uncomplicated support of the DBU had made their task easier. Besides the ecological advantages the equipment such as this increases productivity, thus yielding economic savings as well. Now the goal is to grow with the induction heaters and as the case may be to have the possibility to develop another application out of this technology which could be probably used in other fields as the generator or water power technology.