Episode 8

Achieving climate protection targets 2050 – openness to technology vs. clarity in technology

"Having a slogan is one thing, practical implementation is something else. The path is the right one, it just has to be taken quickly."

Welcome to "Querverlinkt - Technology outside the box"! After our last podcast, we had promised you the topic of digitization again. There's been a slight change of plans, but of course with a really exciting topic. And postponed is not canceled, the topic of digitization is of course still on our roadmap and will definitely be caught up. Today we're talking about the German Climate Protection Plan 2050, but as always, from a technical perspective. We are asking ourselves whether being open to new technology is merely being misused as an excuse for our own inability to strategize or whether it will help us significantly at this point. To discuss this topic we welcome the founder, Dr. Martin Schichtel, who founded the company Kraftblock in 2014 after eight years of research.

A topic of the future, exciting entertainment!


Thomas Sinnwell: Hello everyone! In today's podcast episode, we're taking another look beyond consistec's technology horizons and moving into the exciting field of the energy transition. In the course of some discussions on energy transition, I came across the term " being open to new technology". That sounded really positive to me at first. Then, in the newspaper Handelsblatt, I noticed a statement by the new head of Audi, Markus Duesmann. He said: "We need clarity in technology instead of technological openness. Well, that was ultimately the birth of this podcast. Today we're going to look at the question of what we need to achieve the 2050 climate protection target. Being open to new technologies or clarity in technology? I have invited an extremely competent guest to answer this question, the CEO of Kraftblock, Dr. Martin Schichtel. Welcome, Martin! Please be as kind as to briefly introduce yourself to our listeners and tell us a little bit about Kraftblock.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes, thank you very much, Thomas! Great to be here and very happy to talk about this topic as well. Being open to new technologies is a super important point. I'm Martin Schichtel and I studied chemistry. I did a lot in nanotechnology, developed a lot of technology in my life and then ultimately founded Krafblock in 2014. At Kraftblock, we deal with the topic of energy transition. We produce high-temperature heat storage systems to help decarbonize industries.

Thomas Sinnwell: Thank you very much, Martin! We'll come back to Kraftblock later. I think it's really exciting to learn a little bit more about how you're positioning yourselves in the context of the energy transition. I'd like to start in December 2015, when the first climate protection agreement was signed in Paris, in which the global community made a binding commitment under international law to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above the level before the industrial era. The background was simply CO2 emissions. And you're the chemist, but I'll try to reproduce that now. These CO2 molecules have the property that absorbs light in a certain spectral range, in the infrared range. And that means that ultimately the heat of the earth cannot radiate unhindered into space, which then leads to global warming. What can we do in Germany to achieve the climate protection target? Apart from introducing a total lockdown.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes, total lockdown, an absolute reset would of course be the ultimate thing we could do, no question about it. Ultimately, Germany can do a lot, because we are both technologically well positioned and financially well equipped. There are some countries around the world that could not afford what we can or should be able to afford in the end. The bottom line however is, that the entire world has to work together to ensure that we achieve this 1.5-degree target. It's not just Germany, we have the US, we have China, we have India, even Australia, every country has a carbon footprint. And those that are, I don't want to say more backward in terms of technological development, but still have a lot of catching up to do, are of course relying on old production technologies that still emit a lot of CO2. And these CO2 triggers or greenhouse gases, have to be brought down in some way, in order to get to this target of 1.5 degrees or currently less than 2 degrees, significantly less than 2 degrees.

Thomas Sinnwell: Now you've mentioned that this is actually a worldwide task, and some players in Germany like to use this as an argument to say: why should we have such a hard time here economically, do all this to ourselves, when CO2 continues to be blown into the air left and right?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Absolutely right! But as it is with everything, someone has to be the pioneer, someone has to take the first step in the right direction. And if you just take a look at the development of photovoltaics. They got off to a strong start in Germany. In the meantime, however, module prices have fallen so much in this mass market that everyone can actually afford it. And it will be similar with CO2-avoiding technologies or alternative technologies; they have to be developed, they have to be refined, they have to reach the masses so that everyone can afford them. And then you can ensure CO2 avoidance worldwide.

Thomas Sinnwell: I think there's a lot of potential here for the German economy.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Absolutely!

Thomas Sinnwell: I mean, innovation is a very strong topic in germany. And I think we simply have to seize the opportunity.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Absolutely, absolutely! You can see that large corporations, for example Siemens, now Siemens Energy. They are completely reorganizing themselves in this area and focusing very, very strongly on decarbonization. MAN in Germany has now integrated decarbonization into its slogan. So even large-scale industry has taken up the task of decarbonization. Ultimately, the slogan is one thing, but practical implementation is quite another. The path is the right one, it just has to be taken quickly.

Thomas Sinnwell: In this context, I have to think about the issue of nuclear energy. And from my point of view, it's certainly a good idea to say, well, shouldn't we now turn the whole thing around and stick with nuclear energy for a while longer? Because as far as the CO2 balance is concerned, there is already a certain emission, if I remember correctly, per kilowatt hour of electricity generated 32 grams, but that is ultimately due to the uranium mining for the production of the different components you need. But that is actually unrivaled low.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Definitely. Theoretically, you would have to take a closer look at the CO2 production costs for generating a wind turbine or take a closer look at a PV. It's definitely not that simple. Nuclear power is actually a super clean technology, if it weren't for the radioactive waste. However, it has to be said that in the period when nuclear technology was being developed, similar systems were based on pressurized water reactors, which, let's say, are technologically somewhat more questionable than alternative production variants, but nuclear energy has ultimately been the more economically successful variant in the last century. That's why people have relied on this technology. The problem is that you have the classic nuclear fuel rods in these reactors, which are burning away. You have to cool these things, you have to dissipate an insane amount of heat. The overall efficiency is relatively modest. 20% electricity is what you end up with. Everything else is kind of waste, but CO2, if we want to put it that way. That can be improved, of course. I can't help but think of Bill Gates. TerraPower has been supporting companies since I think the early 2000s. Companies in the U.S. that are trying to develop new nuclear power plants that also rely on an old technology, but one that is much lower risk in terms of radiation and have what are called molten salt reactors. That means you no longer have the nuclear fuel rods that can also melt through and produce a super-GAU. The fuel elements are in a liquid molten salt that circulates through the reactor. So you have increased safety. The other advantage is, in these reactors, you can use existing nuclear waste to continue to generate power and dissipate the radiation. That means you actually have a system, an evolving system. TerraPower is now going even one step further. They say that we don't want to set up a central nuclear power plant that will then, let's say, supply southern Germany with electricity, but we want to decentralize it, set up small power plants regionally that are responsible for regional supply. That's a super charming approach, from a CO2 point of view. However, radioactivity is still a completely different issue, but, and I found this quite ...

Thomas Sinnwell: What about the half-life of these types of reactors? There are already concepts that generate waste products with a significantly shorter half-life.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes, definitely. With classical plutonium, I think you have a half-life of 24,000 years, which is of course immensely high. There are definitely other variants about cobalt, uranium and what they're all called. You reduce that more or less by using already produced fuel again and simply extracting the energy again. And in the end, of course, you don't have as much and you reduce it backwards. You have low-level radioactive waste as well, I mean, every rag that is used in the nuclear power plant is radioactive waste, it is low-level radiation, but ist still radiation. That's why it has to be looked at in a special way. It is a story in itself. But when you look at safety, you really have to let the figures roll off the tongue, although they are a bit older figures from Minus Eins magazine, they simply said that if I produce 10 terawatt hours of electricity, 10 terawatt hours are 10 billion kilowatt hours, which is an insane amount, then I have about one death for every 10 terawatt hours of electricity produced for nuclear power. For coal power, I have 32 deaths for 10 terawatt hours of electricity. Of course, this is because the marginal effects, such as dust emissions, black lung and so on. In case of nuclear power, most of the deaths are not so much caused by a reactor accident, but by the decomposition of uranium or plutonium, which does not yet run as cleanly as it could. There could certainly be improvements. So from there, nuclear power is a super-exciting topic. Of course, you have to think about the disposal or push that forward, but it definitely has potential. I mean, also the ...

Thomas Sinnwell: Can you imagine the topic coming up again in Germany?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: It's really difficult at the moment. I would wish it in a certain area, wish it insofar as we are probably not able to expand that many renewables to supply Germany with electricity if all coal-fired power plants go off the grid in 2038. I mean, right now we're making 50 terawatt hours a month, so 50 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. Of that, 30 terawatt hours come from conventional generation alone, the rest is from renewables. If I now have to convert these 30 terawatt hours to renewables as well, that's an insane task. We already get a lot of electricity from German wind farms, but they are in Norway. It's really an exciting matter whether we can get it the energy completely from renewables.

Thomas Sinnwell: The decision by the Bundestag to phase out nuclear power was, I think, in the summer, in June 2011. And what the operators, the big four, had to pay was compensation. If I remember correctly, the operators are now also out of the final storage issue. They had to pay into a fund. I think that's another circumstance where I can imagine that the biggest outcry would perhaps even come from the ex-operators or still-operators. Because I can't imagine that they would want to revisit the repository issue that they have just successfully gotten rid of.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: No, probably not. No. I don't know how it is worldwide, but in Germany, I think, a relatively special situation, because the legislator demands safe storage for over a million years. There is of course the question: Who can guarantee today whether in 600,000 years the earth will still be safe at this location?

Thomas Sinnwell: Yes, that is of course a strong demand.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Absolutely, absolutely! People have actually thought about the most interesting ways of disposing of nuclear fuel now. Including, we shoot the fuel into space with a rocket and dispose of it there. There's a lot of thinking going on, but I don't think a solution has been found yet.

Thomas Sinnwell: Yes. Maybe new types of reactors with much less critical waste, that could be very exciting, of course.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes, that would be a starting point. I mean, this topic is, I think, raised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, even Greta Thunberg mentioned it once in one of her speeches. She then rowed back a bit, because she said that it was actually just a quote from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But the climate activists don't seem to have to have written off this topic completely.

Thomas Sinnwell: Now, in Europe's, some countries are starting construction again.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes they are.

Thomas Sinnwell: Of course, it takes a long time until such a power plant is built. And it takes even longer for it to have an effect. And if you look at how small the share of nuclear power is in the electricity mix, you would of course have to build quite a few more nuclear power plants, and perhaps in much shorter times, in order to ultimately be able to significantly support the climate protection goal. But another major topic is hydrogen technology.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes.

Thomas Sinnwell: It's being hyped and pushed again by the German government. What’s your take on that?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Hydrogen is a super exciting topic. It has to be part of the climate change. However, I doubt whether this hydrogen technology is a universal remedy, like the German government is currently promoting. Because hydrogen has to be produced as well.

Thomas Sinnwell: Exactly. And then, of course, it should also be possible to produce it green.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Exactly. It should be produced green. That means I need a lot of green electricity to produce this hydrogen. I also need an insane amount of water to produce this hydrogen. This is also a valuable raw material that will probably be subject to a certain scarcity in the future. So it's questionable whether that much hydrogen could ever be produced to decarbonize the steel industry, generating heat, the mobility sector, the chemical industry and basic industries. Plus, of course, the cost of it all. Because hydrogen production is not the cheapest technology, is not the most efficient technology. There are still many, many question marks.

Thomas Sinnwell: Exactly. And this flows seamless into our topic, clarity in technology versus being open to new technologies. And from what I've heard from you so far, there are already a set of technologies that can make a meaningful contribution to achieving the climate protection goal. Which, of course, means that I need a certain degree of technological openness and don't prioritize them too early in the process.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: That’s true.

Thomas Sinnwell: Keyword prioritization or positioning, how does Kraftblock position itself in the topic of energy transition?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: We actually say that we are a technology-open system. Our high-temperature heat storage system is primarily designed to store some form of energy. This could be waste heat, that I get from some industrial process. But it could also be electricity from renewable sources, in which case I can connect a kind of hairdryer in between, a hot-air blower converts electricity into heat, stores the heat and then makes it usable. We see this as a certain technological openness, because the source doesn't matter at first. After power block, I have to install an energy user. We say we remain open with that as well, because we can convert the heat into electricity, via a steam turbine, for example, on a large scale.

Thomas Sinnwell: Of course, I can continue to use parts of conventional power plants.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Exactly. This is a way forward, where Germany has a certain pioneering role. The keyword is so-called storage power plants. So let’s say I have a conventional coal-fired power plant, I have to shut it down in 2038, let's dismantle this coal-fired combustor and replace it with a thermal storage plant that is more or less fed via a hot-air blow dryer via renewable or via surplus power. But uses the existing infrastructure of the power plant. In other words, the turbine, the generator, the grid connection, the district heating system in order to extend the running time of this already existing infrastructure once again and to use it sensibly.

Thomas Sinnwell: That's super exciting.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: If this technology could be developed and implemented in Germany, there is of course a huge potential worldwide. I think we have just under 7,000 coal-fired power plants running worldwide at the moment. In purely statistical terms, that means that China builds a new coal-fired power plant every two weeks. So the construction of coal-fired power plants has not yet come to an end. And if they could all be converted over time.... super exciting business area.

Thomas Sinnwell: Absolutely! And of course a really great story for you guys as well.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes, yes, exactly. We were at technology openness, this out the back electricity production is one way. But I can also use the heat directly to supply processes with heat or to go into district or local heating networks. Or in completely different directions, to generate cold from it or to generate compressed air from it. These interfaces upstream and downstream of the storage facility are all there, and you just have to piece them together intelligently to end up with a sensible application.

Thomas Sinnwell: But this should also be very exciting for the industrial sector, because a lot of heat is generated there, a lot of waste heat, which could then be used in an extremely sensible way.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Exactly. That's certainly the case, especially since we want to get to a part of the exhaust system that no one has ever been able to get to before, because the temperature there is extremely high. This is something that other storage systems simply can't do, or that they can't cope with in terms of the ambient conditions. But we have tailored our system precisely to this. And you basically have the steel producing industry, metal processing industry, ceramics, glass, theoretically even cement industry. Theoretically, because the cement industry has insanely dusty exhaust gas and cleaning it is difficult, but not impossible. It's just not quite as easy to implement as the other ones. And there you could do what we call energy recycling instead of taking the waste heat, like in the ceramic industry. I have an oven that burns at 1300 degrees, which means that the waste gas behind it has this temperature. Now you go there and add cold air to cool it down so that the gas can be cleaned afterwards. This means that there is a huge loss of energy between the furnace and the flue gas cleaning. In many cases. Modern plants already have a so-called recuperator, which uses part of the energy, but by no means all of it. There is still a lot of potential. If you succeed in capturing this energy and either making it available again in the same process or even entering it in stages in various other processes, you can of course achieve primary energy savings of 25 %, 30 % per company, plus ...

Thomas Sinnwell: That's a gigantic number.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: ... CO2 savings. There's a lot that can be done.

Thomas Sinnwell: Yes, that's absolutely exciting. I've also been able to see that you're getting close to the market, that there's a lot of interest in this. What's holding you back?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Various points. Germany is very special for us because we thought: wonderful, technology country, lots of engineers who know what they are doing. We like new technology.

Thomas Sinnwell: I think we do, yes.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: When you come to the customer with such a new product, the first thing he asks is: Has this been running for ten years? Does the reference exist? Has it been valued? Can I be sure? There are references and pilots, you are welcome to look at them. But that's not enough for many people somewhere. Somehow, over the last few decades, a kind of safety thinking has crept in, that is unbelievable. Everyone is crying out for innovation, but when it comes, it is critically questioned. What could go wrong, instead of looking at what's in it for me? Where can I go with the technology in the end? Even if I might have a few teething problems. They can be solved. That is one point. The other point is that the price of energy in Germany, gas, is unbeatably low. If a company that has gas-fired furnaces buys its gas for 2, 2 ½ cents per kilowatt hour, but on the other hand demands that a process component should pay for itself within three years, it becomes challenging. Not impossible, but it becomes challenging. Another key point, electricity. Electricity is, of course, somewhat more expensive than gas. However, the industry that we are interested in is subsidized to a greater or lesser extent, because the EEG surcharge is greatly reduced or in some cases completely eliminated, and grid fees are in some cases completely eliminated. This puts them in a category with regard to the Renewable Energy Sources Act, EEG Act, where they want to stay. In other words, they don't want to save any money, because otherwise they would fall under this category and then they would suddenly have to pay these surcharges.

Thomas Sinnwell: That raises the question: Is the federal government open to new technologies?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: I would distinguish between the working level and the public level. The working level is well aware of what forms of technology exist and what benefits these forms of technology have. For example, the German energy agency „Dena" is also an intermediary and has been commissioned by politicians to carry out screening and to work together with start-ups. This would be a very, very good approach if the decision-makers would also listen to „Dena“ and the results they produce. There was a working group, which was super exciting. On the one hand, there were government representatives, and on the other, there were start-ups bringing new technologies, because the government has also recognized that we need new ideas, new technologies, in order to be able to manage this energy transition. The discussions were very exciting, because you had the ideas of start-ups, so to speak, we put PV on every balcony and thus support the electricity transition, make a certain self-sufficiency of individual households. Then you had representatives of the Federal Network Agency sitting on the other side, saying that we can't do that in this form, because then it will be difficult again with the power grid. We have to guarantee security of supply and thus maintain the power grid. And we can't make individual households self-sufficient. I can somewhat understand that…

Thomas Sinnwell: Yes, I can understand that as an electrical engineer.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Exactly. There are simply two big worlds colliding, the one that comes from the old world, the other that comes from the new world and wants to change something. It's unbelievably difficult to get the two worlds in sync, so that they have the same vibration and run in the right direction.

Thomas Sinnwell: Normally, I would say, it helps in day-to-day business when I have such opposing poles to have a moderating unit in between, which ensures that both worlds somehow find each other and perhaps a good solution emerges. But that is obviously missing.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes, a sensible solution is missing. We've had a lot of discussions recently, I was also at Energy Storage in Düsseldorf again this week, on a panel with really high-ranking representatives of major industries. And it was about: How can we support climate change? How can we also support the turnaround on the heating market? Because this is a market that is still being handled a bit stepmotherly at the moment. And all panel participants were really clear in the first five minutes, that we currently have all the technologies we need to counteract this. The regulators need to be adjusted. In other words, the requirements of the legislator, the restrictions that also exist, these would have to be opened up. This brings us to the keyword "Bein open to new technology" or "clarity in technology", as Mr. Duesmann put it. In regulatory terms, it's technology neutrality versus technology specificity. So they have a different wording, but in the end it’s the same thing. They try to maintain technology neutrality, i.e., openness, but always focus on specificity, i.e., clarity in technology. A certain form of technology is preferred. And that makes it difficult, to elaborate a bit. Storage technologies are definitely an important pillar in a sustainable energy system. In Germany as well. This is not only said by the German energy industry association, or by storage associations, technology manufacturers or technology operators, but also by people all over the world. There is a forecast that says that in 2050, if we manage climate change, we will need 15,000 terawatt hours of storage worldwide. That's an incredible figure. But of course, if the wind only blows on certain days, then I need storage to buffer that and keep my power grid running. The same is true for solar. So I'm just not going to get around storage no matter what I do.

Thomas Sinnwell: Which would mean that we would have to pay a lot of attention to these technology areas and also create the regulatory conditions so that this technology can become established.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Correct! The EU has recognized this, but Germany has not really done that yet. Just recently, there was an amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act. You're still looking for storage in there.It would make absolute sense to bring storage technologies in there, to give a certain incentive to use them, to make a certain promotion. Of course, using the technology, similar to what was done with PV and wind 20 years ago, has worked. Something like this is currently needed for storage technologies, in the broadest sense. The draft for the Energy Industry Act, which is now available, at least includes storage facilities and defines them. Until recently, storage facilities were not defined at all; it just said energy storage. If you spoke to representatives of the Federal Network Agency, energy storage is always electricity storage, lithium batteries. Other than that hydroelectric power plants are included as well. But everything else is not even on their radar. That was a matter of interpretation. In the meantime, it has been defined. But they have already managed to make a first exception.

Thomas Sinnwell: Which is?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: I find that super exciting, in Germany you always make the exception to the exception to the exception in regulation, to end up not being able to do anything. Hydrogen, green-produced hydrogen, that is really renewably produced hydrogen. It can be stored and then used for whatever purpose. So whether that's in the automotive industry as a fuel or whether I burn that hydrogen again afterwards to run a steam turbine or to run a gas turbine that produces electricity for me. It doesn't matter, you only have to pay taxes on the electricity you need to produce the hydrogen. Everything else is exempt, more or less.

Thomas Sinnwell: But this is ultimately also a prioritization of technology through regulation?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Absolutely! Exactly.

Thomas Sinnwell: That means, actually, no technology openness.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: No. Regulation always closes the door. Politicians are very, very open, always saying that we need this and we need that, now we have to tackle this, now we have to tackle that. But in the implementation, in the regulatory implementation, there is always a preferred technology. Let's think about battery storage, lithium-ion batteries. Germany completely missed the boat on that development. A year and a half ago, Altmaier said he wanted to spend billions on promoting battery technology and establishing production companies. Which is now being done. But the ship has sailed. I mean, China is further ahead, the USA is further ahead. If you look at what Tesla has in the next stage of battery development, we're already relying on technology that's, let's say, five or ten years old, building factories that produce it. Do I need that in the future? Or do I rather go onto the next technology, like they're trying to do with hydrogen, to build the next big thing.

Thomas Sinnwell: Okay! Then again, in the context now of our question, is that a pro argument for prioritization?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: No, there should be no preference for one system, but there should also be no discrimination against another system. We, as players in the market say among ourselves, that if I am open to allow the customer to choose the technology that is most efficient for his intended use, then in the end, the market will decide which technology prevails. Also in terms of the economics behind it.

Thomas Sinnwell: Sure!

Dr. Martin Schichtel: I need to do that.

Thomas Sinnwell: I have to think back to the statement made by the head of Audi, who is of course now faced with the task of further developing the combustion engine, advancing the electric drive and then perhaps hydrogen propulsion. I can understand the desire to say that I want to prioritize, that I can't spread my resources over everything because then nothing will be really good. But from the government's point of view, it would have to be different.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes.

Thomas Sinnwell: And then we're back to the topic of regulation, framework conditions for technologies.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes, exactly. You've always had these competitions between different technologies to achieve something. If you look at the electricity market now, you have lignite-fired power plants, hydroelectric power plants, PV, solar, nuclear power plants, there are many companies tinkering with kites that generate electricity or other things. There are always insane numbers of entry points to advance something. And many of them are also used in certain areas. And that's how our government should see it. In other words, we should really say that technology is what will take us forward. Regulation simply doesn't get us anywhere, it can exclude something or favor something, but in my view it doesn't get us anywhere, in terms of the climate goals. It rather hinders us with our climate goals. Because I have to do certain things because the regulatory system dictates it or I'm not allowed to do other things. Example for us is, we do it the other way around. Promotion subsidies, in the broadest sense...

Thomas Sinnwell: It is of course also a wonderful tax instrument.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Yes. There were, or there are. I think it's great that this instrument was opened up, the so-called „reallabs“ in the energy transition. Reallabs, where you can try out technology without really having to adhere to the regulations. Super good, these are hugely large projects that are being set up. In the first round reallabs, and of the top ten projects that were awarded, eight were hydrogen projects. One project thermal storage, German Institute of Aerospace Technology and RWE, and another technology. I can't remember which one it was. But it's quite clear how the government or the funding body prioritized them.

Thomas Sinnwell: Good. Then, I think, from my point of view, we have had pretty intense discussions through different energy topics. And I would like to conclude our talk by talking about the core question, now being open to new technologies or clarity in technology, what is your closing statement there?

Dr. Martin Schichtel: I am definitely an advocate of Bein open to new technologies. One of the reasons for that is that technologies are developing so quickly these days, that a regulating body has no chance at all to keep track of them and evaluating them sensibly, within such a short period of time. That simply won't work anymore. Being open will help us move forward in all areas, whether it's climate change or other areas of life and we need to preserve this openness in order to have the opportunity to develop and advance new technologies in the future.

Thomas Sinnwell: I would completely agree and perhaps want to add one more aspect. What I've noticed is that this initially totally positive concept of openness to technology, in sense of a strategy as well, is sometimes misappropriated and reinterpreted as a form of devotion. From my point of view, this has huge potential to very systematically lead to a lack of strategy. And I think we should avoid that at all costs.

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Definitely, I'm right there with you.

Thomas Sinnwell: I enjoyed it very much, Martin. I'm looking forward to our next talk and I hope was interesting for everybody. See you next time! Bye!

Dr. Martin Schichtel: Thank you very much! Bye!

So. That's it again for today. We hope you could take away something from this, just like we did. Because after our recording we realized how exciting this topic is and how many questions are still in the open. That's why we decided to add another episode. Martin kindly agreed to share his knowledge with us again and to delve deeper into a topic, that concerns us all. As always, we have further links for you in the show notes, and if you're interested in more, we'd be happy if you subscribe to us. The next episode will be on May 6th, as always on the first Thursday of the month. Until then, have a great time! We look forward to seeing you!

Your cookie settings

Technically necessary (essential) cookies

Information on the individual cookies

  • Show more

    Technically necessary (essential) cookies

    Necessary cookies help to make a website usable by enabling basic functions such as page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

    Name fe_typo_user
    Supplier consistec.de
    Purpose Secures anti-spam measures when using the contact form
    Expiration Session
    Type HTTP
    Name conCookieSettings
    Supplier consistec.de
    Purpose Saves the consent to cookies
    Expiration 30 days
    Type HTTP
    Name mtm_consent_removed
    Supplier consistec.de
    Purpose Used by Piwik Analytics Platform (matomo) to determine that the tracking has been contradicted
    Expiration 1 month
    Type HTTP
  • Show more


    Statistics cookies help website owners understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

    Name matomo.php
    Supplier consistec.de
    Purpose Records statistics about the user's visits to the website, such as the number of visits, average time spent on the website and which pages were read.
    Expiration Session
    Type HTTP
    Name _pk_id#
    Supplier consistec.de
    Purpose Records statistics about user visits to the site, such as the number of visits, average time spent on the site and which pages were read.
    Expiration 1 year
    Type HTTP
    Name _pk_ses#
    Supplier consistec.de
    Purpose Is used by the Piwik Analytics Platform (matomo) to track page requests of the visitor during the session.
    Expiration 1 day
    Type HTTP
    Name _pk_testcookie..undefined
    Supplier consistec.de
    Purpose Is used by Piwik Analytics Platform (matomo) to check whether the browser used supports cookies.
    Expiration Session
    Type HTTP
    Name _pk_testcookie.#
    Supplier consistec.de
    Purpose Is used by Piwik Analytics Platform (matomo) to check whether the browser used supports cookies.
    Expiration Session
    Type HTTP