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Mercedes-Benz Cars and Statkraft make an important contribution to the energy transition

12 Dec, 2018

Mercedes-Benz Cars together with Statkraft is taking the first step on the road to realising a CO2-neutral energy supply of the German plants.

This is another component of the Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations strategy – digital, flexible, green. The power purchase agreement enables Mercedes-Benz Cars to source electricity directly from wind farms in Germany, whose subsidies from the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) expire after 2020. In doing so, Mercedes-Benz Cars ensures the economical operation of existing windmills, which can continue to contribute to achieving the climate goals in Germany as a result. The power purchase agreement is thus an important contribution to the German energy transition (German “Energiewende”). 

Norwegian energy provider Statkraft supplies the renewable energy from six community-owned wind farms. The power will be used to supply the
Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen as well as to the German battery production locations such as Kamenz and Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, for example.

"At Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations, we are pursuing the strategy digital, flexible and green in our global production organisation. This also includes that we will supply all our German plants with CO2-neutral energy by 2022. As the first industrial company in Germany, we are using electricity from six wind farms and thereby ensure their continued operation already today. In doing so, we are taking an important step in realising our CO2-neutral production operations and are underscoring our social responsibility", says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.

Statkraft is Europe's largest producer of renewable energy and an important player in energy trading. As the leading PPA provider (Power Purchase Agreement), the group brings together electricity producers and companies from trade and industry throughout Europe and develops new concepts that offer added value for both sides. In Germany, Statkraft is the market leader in managing renewable assets on behalf of third parties with a total portfolio of 10,000 MW.

In the contract concluded between Mercedes and Statkraft, the power supplied by the wind farms is integrated into the existing supply contract by Enovos Energie Deutschland GmbH. Enovos primarily ensures the accounting, the grid use and the integration of the green power supply into the energy portfolio of the Mercedes-Benz plants.

"The cooperation with innovative companies such as Daimler, Enovos and wind power pioneers like the community-owned wind farms allows us to advance the market integration of renewable energies in Germany and Europe", says Dr. Carsten Poppinga, Managing Director of Statkraft in Germany. "This agreement underlines our leading position in Europe in the direct supply of industrial customers with power from non-subsidised renewable assets. Operation without subsidies is often possible when market-oriented action, targeted marketing and efficient plant operations come together", Poppinga adds.

“Integrating the renewable energies that are not subsidized by the Renewable Energy Sources Act into traditional energy delivery models will be of key importance for our target market of major industrial companies in the future. With this in mind, successfully rolling out the delivery of green power to our long-standing energy customer Daimler, together with Statkraft, is an important step,” explains Andreas Loh, Managing Director of Enovos Energie Deutschland GmbH.

About the wind farms

The six wind farms with 31 turbines are located within a radius of about 25 kilometres from Hanover, the capital of the German State of Lower Saxony, as well as in Bassum, 30 kilometres south of Bremen. The plants generate about 74 GWh a year and have an installed capacity of 46 MW. Commissioned between 1999 and 2001, their subsidies through the Renewable Energy Act will run out after 20 years.

After the agreement comes into effect, the green power produced in the wind farm will be fed into the grid and simultaneously drawn from the grid by the Mercedes-Benz plants. The electricity production is staggered in accordance with the different ends of the EEG subsidy for the individual installations. The plan calls for 33.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2021. In the years 2022 to 2024, it is expected to have 74 million kWh and for 2025, the agreement provides for a delivery of 21.8 million kWh. This green power will be used for the production of the EQC electric car at the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant, for example. The electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz is being continued systematically with the approach of a carbon-neutral energy supply of the plants.

End of the EEG subsidy starting in 2021

Thus far, the EEG guaranteed the wind farm operators a fixed subsidised rate for the electricity. From 1 January 2021, the EEG subsidy will run out for about 6000 German wind power plants. In total, this corresponds to an installed capacity of 4.5 GW, enough to power about 2.1 million households. Starting in 2022, further plants will drop from the EEG remuneration each year. Based on today's data, this could affect about 1600 wind power plants annually with a total installed capacity of about 2.5 gigawatts between 2022 and 2026.

Carbon-neutral energy supply of the German Mercedes-Benz Cars plants

In Germany, Mercedes-Benz Cars has eight vehicle and powertrain plants (Bremen, Rastatt, Sindelfingen, Berlin, Hamburg, Kamenz, Kölleda, Stuttgart- Untertürkheim), which either purchase electricity or operate their own power plants. In the future, 100 per cent of additional purchased electricity will come from verifiable renewable sources, such as wind- and hydropower. This corresponds to about three quarters of the required electricity in the German plants. Already existing high efficient gas CHP systems additionally generate local heat and power at our factories. The thereby resulting CO2-emissions are compensated by qualified environmental projects.

New plants in Germany and Europe are planned with a CO2-neutral energy supply from the start: A new CO2-neutral engine plant is currently being built in Jawor, Poland. The plant will start operations in 2019 and sources wind power through a long-term supply contract from the Taczalin wind farm some ten kilometres away.