The energy landscape has been changing for a number of years – and with it EnBW. Back in 2013, we set a new course for the future. From our beginnings as a classic energy company, we continue to evolve into an innovative and sustainable partner for energy and infrastructure. Today, we are focusing our business on renewable energies, electricity grids, telecommunications networks, e-mobility and smart, sustainable energy solutions for our customers.
Step by step, we have driven the energy transition and now we have another goal in our sights: EnBW is set to become climate-neutral by 2035.
Energy is the basis of our business and renewable energies play a fundamental role. Since 2013, we have invested heavily in the expansion of renewable energies, built wind farms on land and at sea, constructed solar parks and supported local authorities and households in becoming sustainable energy producers themselves.
With our grid subsidiaries, we have strong players by our side to guide the energy transition to success. They make the power grids fit for the future – through expansion and digital technology. Our subsidiaries are driving the development of so-called intelligent grids. This is necessary in order to continue to incorporate the ever-increasing share of locally generated renewable energy into the power grids in the future.
Electric vehicles also need strong, reliable grids – this is a key factor for us as the market leader in charging infrastructure for e-mobility. We already provide access to the largest electric charging network in Germany and a number of other European countries. Together with partners, we are working on further expanding the nationwide network of high-performance quick-charging stations in Germany. You can already charge vehicles throughout the entire EnBW HyperNetz at uniform prices across the board.
Developing innovative solutions for energy and infrastructure has a firm place at EnBW: With our innovation management, we systematically develop new business models, found our own start-ups and invest in the ideas of young company founders. This has already resulted in 55 internal innovation projects and nine spin-offs. One example of a successful early start-up from the EnBW ideas factory is ChargeHere, which equips the parking spaces of companies and fleet providers with charging solutions for electric cars. Another example is Smight – a start-up that collects real-time data from the distribution grid, providing the basis for intelligent grid operation.
One important field of activity for a bright future involves sustainable districts. We are developing future-proof district infrastructure concepts and detailing how districts should function as a whole in the future. As a partner to cities, municipal councils and project developers, we always consider energy, mobility, ecology, housing and neighborhoods in the overall context and thus create environmentally, economically and socially sustainable living and working spaces.
We will continue to offer our customers future-oriented solutions and infrastructure for generations, with their roots in the research and development we are conducting today.
Let’s jump forward to the year 2050: Our interactive graphic shows you the percentage of renewable energies expected to be in the electricity mix in Germany. It shows how exciting it is to play a role in shaping the energy transition.
We achieved the aims of EnBW’s 2020 strategy ahead of schedule. Since 2013, we have realigned our business model and made renewable energies a central component of the company.
With our expertise in wind power and photovoltaics, we want to continue to grow while also working with selected international partners.
We are expanding our traditional grid business. At transmission grid level we are involved in the construction of the two high-performance north–south connections “Ultranet” and “Südlink” through TransnetBW. Other grid subsidiaries are driving the expansion of the electricity distribution grids. In doing so, they are making sure that even more renewable power generation plants can be connected to the grids in the future. We are developing new, innovative products and services for our customers, in the field of electricity home storage systems, for example, or in the supply of biogas.
We are withdrawing from nuclear power generation.
In order to make EnBW climate-neutral, we are also consistently phasing out coal-fired power generation. Our coal power plants currently have an output of 4,600 megawatts. We will have gradually taken them out of operation by 2035 and have already decommissioned 2,700 megawatts of carbon-intensive plants or transferred them under the terms of the Reserve Power Plant Regulation. For some of our plants we are examining the possibility of a fuel switch to more climate-friendly gas and then in a second stage to zero-carbon gases such as biogas or hydrogen. This can immediately reduce carbon emissions while guaranteeing security of supply.
We see natural gas as a bridging technology as we move into the future of renewables. Our acquisition of shares in VNG in Leipzig has made us the third largest provider on the German gas market.
Heterogeneous teams with young talent, experienced employees and international colleagues can generate a great deal of power – for one, common company.
The most important resource: our employees
We want to play an active part in shaping the energy transition. But we can only do it together – which is why we set much store by cooperation. Around 26,000 colleagues are committed to tomorrow’s energy world every single day.
Mutual trust and cooperation based on respect are the key aspects here. Irrespective of the team in which they work at our company, each and every individual is an integral part of a big idea, part of a sea change and part of one of the most exciting and forward-looking issues of our time.
We offer our employees options such as flexible working hours or childcare. Home office arrangements also allow them to work flexibly. These and many other benefits for our employees are the reasons why we have been certified by #berufundfamilie (‘workandfamily’) since 2007. In addition, we take specific measures to help people gain qualifications and undertake further education.
We take sustainability and climate change mitigation seriously, which is why they are an integral part of the EnBW strategy.
Sustainable business activities in all areas
Economically ambitious, good for the climate and socially balanced: We consolidate our sustainable corporate strategy in ecological, economic and social dimensions. At the heart of our sustainability agenda is the ambitious goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2035. Together with the associated phasing out of coal, we have firmly established sustainability in EnBW’s DNA. As early as 2013, EnBW set the course for a sustainable corporate focus with its “EnBW 2020” strategy and has since fundamentally restructured its generation portfolio. An overview of some of our activities:
Customers and products
We focus on what we are particularly good at, which is complex, large and critical infrastructure. Not just in the area of energy, but increasingly beyond.
Whether e-mobility, solar power plant with home storage or classic electricity contract for the home, we make it as easy as possible for the customer and combine everything into one simple and optimal service. The supply of district heating and drinking water is also part of the range of services we offer. Our main priorities here are safety and reliability. With our expertise and extensive investments in grids and power generation plants, we achieve a high level of supply reliability that our customers can depend on now and in the future.
Our focus is on creating a sustainable living environment for people, which is why we link areas such as transport, telecommunications and energy when developing urban districts, for example. We have been named the best e-mobility provider in Germany for developing a nationwide charging and quick-charging network. For large customers, we can operate systems for generating electricity, heat or cold on a contract basis. We also offer local authorities and municipal utilities a wide range of energy services from our broad portfolio.
External financing is needed to implement our sustainable strategy with its many growth projects. We use our good access to the capital market for this purpose.
We have geared our financial strategy towards the following goals:
EnBW’s solid internal financing and good access to the capital market form the foundations for the implementation of its 2025 strategy. The company is set to continue to grow and increase its profit-earning capacity. In addition to internal financing power, various financing instruments are available for this purpose. Two corporate bonds were issued in 2021, each worth €500 million. The revenue from a green subordinated bond also worth €500 million has gone entirely towards refinancing the French wind power and solar company Valeco. The syndicated credit facility signed in 2020 (with a volume of €1.5 billion) is sustainable. For the first time, the financing costs are linked to EnBW’s sustainability performance via the following top non-financial performance indicators: CO₂ intensity, share of generation capacity attributable to renewable energies and SAIDI0System Average Interruption Duration Index is the average power failure time per supplied consumer. It is the most important indicator of the reliability of energy grids.
In the field of renewable energies, we are not only active in Germany, but also abroad. The latest step in this direction is the plan to work with bp to develop offshore wind farms in the UK. We have been active in France since 2019 following the acquisition of the French wind and solar company Valeco. We have had a presence in Denmark and Sweden since 2016 with our subsidiary Connected Wind Services. In Sweden, we have founded our own national subsidiary, which now operates a number of wind farms. In Turkey, we are active in the renewable energies sector with our Turkish partner Borusan. Furthermore, we have established a subsidiary in Taiwan that will apply for wind power projects.
Our long-standing subsidiary Energiedienst Holding (ED) in Switzerland, which specializes in Alpine hydropower as well as hydropower on the Upper Rhine, is also focusing strongly on renewable energies. Last but not least, we hold a stake in Pražská energetika (PRE), the third largest electricity supplier in the Czech Republic, and we are extending our market leadership for quick charging to the Austrian market with the joint venture SMATRICS EnBW.
Source: EnBW Annual Report 2021
We and our predecessor companies were created and have grown over decades through ever new mergers of regional energy suppliers. Our roots are widely spread in Baden-Württemberg and shape our identity. Since the end of 2010, EnBW has once again been majority-owned and equally owned by the state and the districts united in the OEW (Zweckverbund Oberschwäbische Elektrizitätswerke). This means that we will remain firmly anchored in Baden-Württemberg for the future. EnBW has the character of a quasi-municipal company in its genes.
In December, EnBW opened its largest quick-charging location to date near the Kamener Kreuz interchange (in North Rhine-Westphalia). This is located at one of Germany’s busiest transport hubs. A total of 52 vehicles can be simultaneously charged with up to 300 kilowatts of power. This means that enough power for a range of up to 100 kilometers can be charged in just five minutes, depending on the vehicle – all from 100 percent green electricity.
Bid accepted for two sites in Great Britain for the development of offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 3 GW in cooperation with bp.
Another step towards the energy transition
Germany’s largest solar park in Werneuchen (Brandenburg) has fed its first kilowatt hour of solar energy into the power grid. “This is an important milestone for our solar park – and for renewable energies in general,” says Thorsten Jörß, Head of Photovoltaic Project Development at EnBW. “With large-scale projects like this, photovoltaics is making a significant and cost-effective contribution to the energy transition.”
Acquisitions support the transition
With the purchase of the French project developer Valeco, EnBW strengthens its position in the renewable energy sector. In the same year, the company acquires Plusnet GmbH in Cologne, a service provider in the telecommunications sector. The company thus reinforces its transition into an infrastructure partner.
Opening up new paths
EnBW takes over VNG (formerly Verbundnetz Gas) and thus becomes the third largest gas supplier in Germany. Developments such as digitalisation, decentralisation of the energy system and urbanisation accelerate EnBW's pace on its way from a traditional energy company to a competent infrastructure partner also above and beyond the energy sector.
Wind farm in the Baltic Sea: EnBW Baltic 2
The 80 large wind turbines of EnBW Baltic 2 rise high above the waves of the Baltic Sea. EnBW's second wind farm officially goes into operation on 21 September 2015. From the strong and constantly blowing wind, the wind turbines generate electricity for a calculated 340,000 households
Energy transition. Safety. Making.
The EnBW presents its Strategy 2020. It is committed to the energy turnaround and wants to be "close to the customer". It is transforming its generation park and grids into the "engine room of the energy revolution" by specifically expanding renewable energies. EnBW's grid subsidiaries are responsible for the integration of renewable energies and electromobility into the energy system and ultimately for ensuring a secure supply.
An InnovationsCampus is established in Karlsruhe to develop new business ideas.
New hard coal block in RDK
At the site of the Rheinhafen steam power plant Karlsruhe - RDK for short - a new hard coal-fired block was commissioned after many years of construction: RDK 8. The new RDK 8 power plant is an essential component of an environmentally friendly energy supply. With a multitude of technical innovations, RDK 8 is setting a new worldwide standard for the efficient and thus environmentally friendly generation of electricity and district heating from hard coal.
Fresh wind and phasing out of nuclear energy
After the Fukushima reactor accident, the German Federal Government decides to phase out nuclear power by 2022. As the operator of the five EnBW nuclear power plants, EnBW Kernkraft GmbH (EnKK) adopts the strategy for the decommissioning of the plants and decides on the direct dismantling of all blocks. The power plants Neckarwestheim I (GKN) and Philippsburg 1 (KKP) are shut down in 2011. The Obrigheim nuclear power plant (KWO) had already been taken off the grid by EnBW in 2005 after the first nuclear consensus.
The energy transition is heralded. In April 2011, Germany's first commercial offshore wind farm, EnBW Baltic 1 in the Baltic Sea, goes online. The consistent expansion of renewable energies picks up speed.
Electromobility in the Stuttgart Region picks up speed
EnBW is looking for 500 "pioneers" for electric scooters and is thus entering into the expansion of electromobility.
Merger of NWS with EnBW
EnBW merges with Neckarwerke Stuttgart AG (NWS) in 2003 to strengthen its position in the liberalised energy market. In addition to its generation and electricity infrastructure, NWS also contributes its gas and water divisions and its customer base to the group. in 1997, NWS emerges from the Esslingen municipal utility Neckarwerke Elektrizitätsversorgungs-AG (Neckarwerke) and the Technische Werke der Stadt Stuttgart AG (TWS).
Power is no longer synonymous with electricity
The German power market is liberalised. EnBW is one of the first energy supply companies to offer various electricity products.
The EnBW subsidiary Yello Strom is founded and causes a sensation nationwide with an eye-catching advertising campaign in summer 1999. It is the first power brand in the newly emerging competition.
The birth of EnBW
On 20 August 1997, Badenwerk from Karlsruhe and Energie-Versorgung Schwaben (EVS) from Stuttgart merge. In the previous decades, this had been preceded by a continuous reorganisation, especially of the Württemberg power supply.