Evonik, EnBW sign long-term contract for wind power
Evonik is becoming less dependent on fossil fuels. The specialty-chemicals company signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy with the energy supplier EnBW.
The PPA provides Evonik with 100 megawatts (MW) from the new 900-MW He Dreiht wind farm in the German North Sea. This agreement alone will enable Evonik to cover around a quarter of its electricity needs in Europe with renewable energy from 2026 on.
EnBW will supply the green electricity over a period of 15 years. Since chemical production requires a constant energy supply, Evonik will compensate for fluctuations of the wind energy feed-in through its own balancing group management.
“Together with EnBW, we are accelerating the implementation of our ambitious sustainability strategy,” said Christian Kullmann, CEO of Evonik. “We are becoming less dependent on fossil fuels and their price fluctuations. Clearly, the less fossil and more green energy we use, the better the future opportunities for our German and European sites will be.”
The PPA with EnBW is just the beginning.
Evonik is working on other agreements for green electricity purchased directly from producers to increase the company’s share of renewable energy usage.
“The green electricity from the new offshore wind farm is a very important lever for our goal of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions,” said Thomas Wessel, responsible for sustainability on the executive board. “Today, 27 percent of Evonik’s externally purchased electricity worldwide already comes from renewable sources. Implementing the PPA with EnBW significantly increases this share to more than 40 percent.”
At the same time, the cooperation reduces Evonik’s scope 2 emissions (electricity from external sources) by 100,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. The company recently announced the goal of reducing its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions from the current 6.5 million tons to 4.9 million tons by 2030. About one-third of this net reduction will be achieved by switching to renewable energy sources.
The He Dreiht wind farm will be built about 90 kilometers northwest of Borkum and 110 kilometers west of Helgoland. It is scheduled to start operating at the end of 2025. In 2017, EnBW won the first tender in Germany with a zero-cent bid and thus initiated a new trend in the offshore market. The subsidy-free offshore wind farm is currently one of Europe’s largest energy transition projects. For the first time, 15-MW turbines will be deployed.
As a central instrument of the energy transition, PPAs are becoming increasingly important.
“We can only achieve the energy transition together. PPAs are a tool for this,” said Georg Stamatelopoulos, EnBW management board member. “They help companies to achieve ambitious climate targets and enable developers of renewable-energy projects to obtain reliable financing. This way, the economy and the climate both benefit. With Evonik, we have gained another strong partner for our He Dreiht offshore wind farm.”
EnBW will make the final investment decision on the offshore wind farm in 2023.
Evonik offers a range of products for offshore wind turbines. Its crosslinkers ensure highly robust and long-lasting rotor blades. Silica and silanes strengthen the bonding of glass fibers and resin. Structural foam from Evonik will make the design of future rotor blades even more efficient at low weights. Coating additives and polyurethane foam parts protect wind turbine blades rotating at speeds of up to 400 kilometers per hour through rain, salt particles, and hail. Synthetic base oils from Evonik provide cost-effective lubrication of the turbines’ gearboxes and protect them from wear and corrosion.
Evonik is also a major global supplier of sodium and potassium methylate, which are important catalysts used in biodiesel production.