Today, the Renewable Energies and Grids segments already account for a combined share of over 70% of the operating result. In contrast, earnings from conventional generation have fallen by 80% between 2012 and 2020. We have thus successfully completed the desired transformation of our portfolio in the last few years. We will also continue to focus on the expansion of renewable energies and will invest more than 5 billion euros in corresponding activities in Germany and selected foreign markets up to 2025.
We have long been committed to the use of hydropower.
With around 1,000 MW of installed output from run-of-river power plants and around 2,000 MW from pumped storage and storage power plants, more than 10% of our electricity is generated using the power of water. There are hardly any suitable sites left for new, large hydroelectric and pumped storage power plants in Germany today. Against this background, we are expanding and modernising existing power plants, such as the Forbach power plant in the Black Forest. A concept to turn the existing plant into a modern and highly efficient pumped storage power plant has been developed for the Rudolf-Fettweis Plant. We are also represented on international markets in the area of hydropower. In Switzerland, for example, our Group is one of the leading operators of hydropower plants via participation models.
Wind energy will also continue to play a decisive role in the future.
EnBW has more than tripled its onshore wind power capacities since 2012. We were able to increase capacities by a total of 204 MW in 2017. In 2019, we could achieve little expansion in Germany. In France, we were able to expand our onshore portfolio with the acquisition of Valeco. In the area of offshore wind power, we have constructed the two wind farms EnBW Baltic 1 and EnBW Baltic 2 in the Baltic Sea over the last few years. We completed our third offshore project in 2019: The neighbouring wind farms EnBW Hohe See and EnBW Albatros have a total capacity of 609 MW and are thus the largest offshore project to be built in Germany to date. The 87 wind turbines can supply on aggregate around 710,000 households with electricity and thus save around 1.9 million tonnes CO₂ per year. The project represented the largest investment in the history of EnBW with construction costs of around 2.3 billion euros.
Despite the challenging conditions, we will continue to push forward the expansion of wind power with other planned onshore and offshore projects. Between 2020 and 2025, we want to increase our wind power capacities to 4,500 MW. We are planning, for example, to construct the EnBW He Dreiht wind farm in the North Sea with an output of 900 MW – for the first time without state subsidies.
EnBW has gathered valuable expertise in the planning, construction, operation, maintenance, servicing and direct distribution of wind turbines over the last few years. We aim to use these skills to open up new markets and exploit opportunities for growth internationally.
Germany’s largest solar park Weesow-Willmersdorf
On Easter Monday 2019, more than half of the electricity demand across Germany of 61 GW was already covered by solar energy.
This demonstrates that the solar market is an attractive proposition. The latest generation of photovoltaic modules work more efficiently than previous technologies. In addition, the price of modules has fallen significantly in recent months. Furthermore, we are able to realise long-term and major projects in Germany and other European markets economically due to our trading and marketing expertise. This vindicates our decision to make photovoltaics the third pillar of our strategy for renewable energies.
For example, we are one of the first companies to construct a solar park whose electricity production costs are lower than those of a new conventional power plant. Therefore, we are financing our latest solar park – Weesow-Willmersdorf in Brandenburg – for the first time without EEG funding. We are thus reinforcing our role as a pioneer in the development, construction, operation and marketing of major solar parks.
As part of our solar strategy, however, we will still continue to rely on solar parks with EEG funding. Companies who claim the lowest level of state funding for the production of solar electricity will have the best chance of having their bid for EEG funding accepted. Our precise planning is paying dividends: In Germany-wide auctions, EnBW has been the fourth most successful company since 2015 – behind three companies that specialise solely in solar power.
The company plans to develop a solar energy portfolio of 600 MW across Germany by 2025. In addition, we are also looking at sites abroad.
A solar park with an output of 180 MW is currently being constructed in Werneuchen (Brandenburg).
We are demonstrating at the solar park in Brandenburg that it is possible to construct solar projects even without state funding.
Interview with Dirk Güsewell, Head of Portfolio Development Generation, EnBW.
How long has EnBW been actively involved with renewable energies?
Dirk Güsewell: The foundations for our growth in the area of renewable energies certainly lie in the significant upgrading of this business field as part of our EnBW 2020 strategy. As part of this strategy, we were the first major energy company to start resolutely aligning ourselves to the opportunities offered by the Energiewende back in 2013. Following initial success in Germany, the decision to extend our business activities and teams geographically is the logical continuation of our aspiration to achieve further growth through the expansion of renewable energies using the expertise we have gained.
What has happened since then?
Dirk Güsewell: Our strategy has developed further since then but still remains basically unchanged. Today, we are one of the market leaders in Germany with our offshore and onshore wind farms and open-field photovoltaic power plants, while we are excellently positioned for growth in France with Valeco and are also represented by teams in Sweden, North America and Taiwan. Our aim is to increase the earnings contribution from this business field by 500 million euros by 2020, compared to 2012, and thus more than double it. Although the market conditions have become more challenging, we are also working to achieve further growth in later years.
How is EnBW able to build both the first solar park and first wind farm without state funding?
Dirk Güsewell: This is possible due to really impressive advances in the electricity production costs for these technologies across all value-added stages. Our contribution is that we possess the required long-standing experience in planning, construction and operation and have a good overview of the market at all value-added stages. And we perhaps also started looking at the bigger picture earlier than other competitors. Incidentally, we believe that this is a fantastic development that will give the Energiewende new impetus and momentum in the future.
What does selective internationalisation mean?
Dirk Güsewell: We can generate value through growth abroad – above and beyond the potential offered by our home market of Germany. In addition, internationalisation represents an opportunity for us – both for cultural development and for the acquisition of new talent. This internationalisation is “selective” in the sense that we choose our target markets very deliberately so that we will be able to take up a prominent position on these markets.
We started looking at the bigger picture at an early stage.