A fast and consistent Energiewende is the key to ensuring that we continue to get the energy supply we need in the future. In order to master this balancing act, we are completely rebuilding our energy system for Germany’s industrialized economy by 2035. As EnBW, we are responsible for bringing climate change mitigation solutions to the road and reducing carbon-intensive generation.
Renewable energies are doing for the 21st century what the steam engine did for the 19th century and the combustion engine did for the 20th century: powering our progress. Yet unlike in the past, this aim goes way beyond power generation.
The Energiewende is the answer to human-made climate change. As simple as this answer sounds, it is challenging to put it into practice. That’s because to achieve this, we must restructure our entire energy system while continuing to guarantee a secure and affordable supply of electricity and heat for the people in Baden-Württemberg and beyond.
EnBW is one of the few companies in a position to do so – with billions invested in some of the world’s largest and most modern wind, solar and hydropower plants, generating clean energy for millions of households. There is still a long way to go before we can fully meet the demand with renewable energies. Until then, we will keep the overall system stable with our conventional power plants.
Back in 2012, as part of our new corporate strategy, we set ourselves the goal of increasing the renewable share of our generation capacity to 40 percent within eight years. At 40.1 percent, we achieved this only slightly later in 2021. And that is just the start: By 2025, the share is set to exceed the 50 percent threshold.
|Generation share within the EnBW Portfolio||Thermal||Renewable|
Since the realignment of the company, we have invested twelve billion euros in the Energiewende – and we are continuing to invest. The ongoing and completed major projects undertaken by EnBW and its partners featured here alone will increase renewable generation capacity by around 8.4 gigawatts – enough to supply 8.9 million households with electricity.
Together with our partner bp, we are developing three of Europe’s largest offshore wind projects off the east and west coasts of Scotland.
- Commissioned: by 2030
- Total area: 1.660 km²
- Total output: 5,9 GW
- Demand covered: 6.4 million households
Even before our strategic realignment, we opened Baltic 1, Germany’s first economically successful offshore wind farm, and a few years later its “big brother”, which is four times larger and six times more powerful.
- Commissioned: 2011–2015
- Total area: 34 km²
- Total Output: 340 MW
- Demand covered: 400,000 households
The planned He Dreiht wind farm is one of the world’s first offshore projects not to be government-funded. And it represents yet another first: We were awarded the contract for the project in Germany’s first offshore wind auction.
- Commissioned: 2025
- Total area: 60 km²
- Total output: 900 MW
- Demand covered: fsabdeckung: 1 million households
Together with our partner Enbridge, we developed the Hohe See and Albatros wind farms, the largest offshore project in Germany to date.
- Commissioned: 2019–2020
- Total area: 53 km²
- Total output: 640 MW
- Demand covered: 700,000 households
The solar cluster in Brandenburg includes Weesow-Wilmersdorf, Germany’s largest and first large-scale PV project without EEG funding.
- Commissioned: 2020–2021
- Total area: 4 km²
- Total output: 490 MW
- Demand covered: 140,000 households
With the addition of a fifth turbine, we made our run-of-river power plant the largest in Germany.
- Commissioned: 1978, upgraded 2013
- Total output: 150 MW
- Demand covered: 250,000 households
Each wind, solar or hydropower plant plays its part in mitigating climate change, but at the same time represents an intervention in nature. For us, this means not only taking responsibility for ensuring that the local flora and fauna remain as intact as possible – but also seizing the opportunity to further develop our facilities into areas where plants and animals can thrive.
Achieving goals together
The consequences of the climate crisis continue to increase throughout the world. At the same time, the developments of the past year have dramatically underscored the vulnerability of the energy supply. From EnBW’s perspective, the response can only be an accelerated transformation toward a renewable energy system. It is important to include people in such a transformation process and drive change in a socially just way. The aim here should always be to continue to offer people in all regions secure access to electricity and heat and give our employees new career prospects.
For environmental and economic reasons, we voluntarily divested ourselves of 2,700 megawatts of particularly carbon-intensive generation even before the Coal Phaseout Act of 2020.
We are now taking the next step in 2023 and accelerating the restructuring of the generation portfolio. An important intermediate target: the planned phaseout of coal by 2028. This will require the swift implementation of the energy transition targets set by the German government. These cover the expansion of renewable energies, the transmission and distribution grids and the gas infrastructure in Germany. Pursuing clear milestones and in line with the 1.5-degree target, the company wants to fully divest itself of the remaining coal-based generation plants on the market. By doing so, EnBW is significantly bringing forward the phaseout of coal and halving its own carbon emissions by 2027 and cutting them by around 70% by 2030 (compared to figures for 2018).
Our road map is based on three milestones:
- Halving our carbon footprint by 2027 (reference year: 2018)
- Reducing our carbon footprint by 70% by 2030 (reference year: 2018)
- Reducing our carbon footprint by at least 83% by 2035 in line with the 1.5-degree trajectory of the Paris Agreement and achieving climate neutrality by offsetting the remaining residual emissions.
The fuel switch from coal to natural gas at the Heilbronn, Altbach/Deizisau and Stuttgart-Münster power plant sites will play a key role in achieving the first milestone – the 50% reduction – allowing us to reach it three years earlier than planned. As a result of the earlier phaseout of coal planned for 2028, we will reach the second milestone and cut carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030. The measure for reaching the third milestone – a reduction of 83% by 2035 – is the switch to climate-neutral gases.
Scopes 1 and 2 concern direct emissions from power and heat generation plants (Scope 1) and line-loss emissions attributed to the power grids (Scope 2). Scope 3 emissions largely originate from the gas business (gas procurement and combustion by the end customer).
By phasing out coal and switching to more climate-friendly natural gas, we are directly reducing our emissions and at the same time laying the foundations for reliable energy generation with climate-neutral gases. This is how we are preserving jobs and securing the long-term supply of electricity and district heating to Baden-Württemberg’s households and industrial sector on the way to achieving climate-neutral energy generation.
The final piece of the puzzle
Even in a climate-neutral world, we will not be able to do without fuels. We need them to generate, store and transport energy independently of the wind and weather. Coal, oil and natural gas will no longer be an option for such energy in the future – we have to find a climate-neutral alternative.
One promising candidate is H₂ or hydrogen, a combustible, carbon-free gas that can be extracted from water by means of electrolysis. If this is done using electricity from renewable energies, the gas is completely climate-neutral and is referred to as “green hydrogen.” This can be used to store renewable energies in the gas grid, generate electricity and heat in gas power plants or drive engines.
It remains too expensive to produce hydrogen for us to replace fossil fuels with it. We want to change this, which is why we are involved in various research and pilot projects with our companies and partners. At the same time, we are already building our gas power plants and grids to be “H₂-ready” in order to be able to convert them to run on hydrogen as quickly as possible.