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Federal Chancellor opens the Hannover Messe Advancing the transformation of the economy

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, the Hannover Messe opened its doors once again this year as an on-site event. The world’s leading industrial trade fair celebrates its 75th anniversary. The central theme is “Digitalisation and Sustainability”. Federal Chancellor Scholz stressed that the urgency of economic transformation was another issue that had been thrown into sharp relief by the Ukraine war.

Federal Chancellor Scholz during his speech at the opening of the Hannover Messe

“The energy transition will benefit Germany as an industrial base,” said Federal Chancellor Scholz at the opening of the Hannover Messe.

Photo: Federal Government/Bergmann

The aim of Hannover Messe 2022 is to provide impetus for the transformation of business and industry towards digitalised, climate-neutral and sustainable value creation. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz opened the world’s leading industrial trade fair on Sunday evening together with Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa. Portugal is the partner country of the trade fair in 2022. 

This year’s Hannover Messe features technologies for efficient and resource-saving production facilities and sustainable energy systems. In his speech at the opening of the trade fair, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed the urgency of the economic transformation. According to Scholz, the message of the 75th Hannover Messe is that transformation is something we can achieve together – “thanks to the creativity and far-reaching inventiveness of industry and with a state that is modernising and investing in the future”.

Scholz thanks industry

Scholz thanked industry for supporting the Federal Government’s stance towards Russia. Even though the Federal Government was able to absorb much of the impact on businesses resulting from sanctions – “all of this still has its price,” said the Federal Chancellor. Nonetheless, he added, this was significantly lower “than the price we would all pay together if Putin were to get away with his aggression”.

On Monday morning, the Federal Chancellor took a tour of the trade fair to gain an impression of the key focus areas and the latest innovations featured. Visitors can view the exhibitors’ technologies until Thursday.

Companies are presenting their technologies for efficient and resource-saving production facilities and sustainable energy systems at this year’s Hannover Messe under the central theme of “Digitalisation and Sustainability”. 2,500 companies from 60 countries are exhibiting their technologies at the world’s leading industrial trade fair this year.

The partner country of the Hannover Messe in 2022 is Portugal, with the motto: “Portugal makes Sense”. There are more than 120 Portuguese companies presenting their products and solutions in Hanover – relating to the energy transition, digital transformation and reliable supply chains.

Energy independence is imperative for national security, too

Neither the pandemic nor the Ukraine made the industrial transformation less urgent, said Scholz. “On the contrary: becoming independent of fossil energy makes sense not just in terms of climate policy. In view of rising prices for gas, coal and oil, this is very much an economic issue, too,” stressed the Federal Chancellor. Moreover, he said, “we’re now feeling the full impact of how energy independence is imperative for our national security as well”.

The Federal Chancellor said he firmly believed the energy transition would benefit Germany as an industrial base. Renewable energies were already the cheapest form of energy, he said – “Germany genuinely has everything it takes to become one of the first climate-neutral industrialised countries,” said the Federal Chancellor.

Challenges can only be tackled on a collaborative basis

Scholz was also keen to emphasise how the current situation showed “the need for us all to work together”. None of the major current challenges could be taken on by nations in isolation, he said: tackling problems such as climate change could only succeed on a collaborative basis. It was a “dangerous aberration” to conclude from the Ukraine war that globalisation was the wrong path, said the Federal Chancellor.

Industry is key to meeting climate targets
In order to meet climate targets, industry must not generate any additional CO2 emissions in the future. What is required is more renewable energy, hydrogen technology, greater efficiency in terms of energy and resources, and novel production processes. Energy must be safe, clean and affordable. In order for this to succeed, the German government intends to greatly accelerate the energy transition. This is particularly important in light of the war in Ukraine and the resulting ongoing increase in energy prices and potential supply disruptions. In order to meet climate targets, at least 80 percent of gross power consumption is to come from renewable energies by 2030. This will require many more wind and solar power plants to be installed more quickly, as well as the expansion of hydrogen technology. At this year’s Hannover Messe, more than 200 companies are showcasing solutions for a sustainable energy supply based on green hydrogen.