E.ON in Germany
Germany is our home market and the base from which four of our five global units (Generation, Renewables, Optimization & Trading, and New Build & Technology) manage their international operations. Group Management, our corporate headquarters, is in Düsseldorf, Germany. Our Germany regional unit is responsible for power and gas distribution, energy sales, and distributed generation in Germany. It serves as an important partner of our global units, particularly the Generation unit.
Germany is also home to our largest asset position—about 22 GW—in power generation. Renewables accounted for just over 9 percent of our output in Germany in 2012. Our network companies in Germany operate 422,000 kilometers of power lines and 65,000 kilometers of gas pipelines. As of year-end 2012, more than 350,000 generating units with over 25 GW of capacity subsidized by Germany’s Renewable Energy Law were located on our power networks. Our asset position in Germany makes us one of the country’s biggest energy companies.
As part of our strategy to deliver cleaner & better energy, we’re significantly expanding the share of renewables in our portfolio. We already operate 36 wind farms in Germany with a total capacity of over 0.3 GW and are expanding our offshore position. Over the next several years, we plan to commission three large deepwater wind farms in the North Sea and Baltic Sea with a total capacity of more than 1.2 GW. We’re also active in distributed generation, where our offerings include micro CHP units for homes and apartment buildings, biomass-fired units for commercial applications, and large CHP units for industrial enterprises.
|Installed capacity||21.2 GW|
|Installed capacity (renewables)||1.8 GW|
|Share of owned generation by renewables||9.8 %|
|Power sales||646.6 TWh|
|Gas sales||460.8 TWh|
Our Sustainability Effort in Germany
The world is changing, and collectively we face many challenges. One of the biggest challenges we face in Germany is the Energiewende, the country’s commitment to radically transforming its energy system. We want to assist in this transformation wherever we can and to make a tangible contribution toward enhancing Germany’s sustainability. We’re actively expanding our renewables capacity and distributed generation technologies. And we see a great need for innovation: new energy storage devices, active energy management on the customer side, smart grids, and ways to utilize renewables more flexibly. As in the previous year, our 2012 Sustainability Report fulfills the requirements outlined in the German Sustainability Codex in the version dated January 2012 (see margin note link).
E.ON Netz, which operates our electric 110 kV system in Germany, has contractor employees who spend their entire day on lunch break. And that’s the idea. Because these employees, who are in fact Scottish Highland cattle, are responsible for controlling vegetation in a roughly 1.4 kilometer segment of a transmission pathway in southest Germany. Their perpetual munching keeps grass and brush from growing up power pylons and from interfering with the work done by our maintenance crews. It also creates a heath-like landscape that can serve as a habitat for rare animal and plant species, thereby promoting biodiversity. Since 2000, E.ON Netz has conducted about 20 grazing projects involving a variety of four-legged landscapers (cattle, sheep, bison, and deer).
Replacing the Gas Pedal with the Power Pedal
By promoting electric vehicles (EVs), we want to help make transport cleaner, quieter, and less dependent on fossil fuels. In 2012 we conducted numerous projects involving a variety of charging systems and expanded our e-mobility offerings. For example, vehicle-fleet managers can visit a website or use a smartphone application to check the status of their charging infrastructure. This tool enables users to conduct detailed analysis and evaluation of all charging processes. In the future it will facilitate active load management, which means that EVs can be charged at times of the day when a particularly large percentage of the electricity in the grid comes from renewable sources.
In a joint research project with Volkswagen we demonstrated for the first time in Germany that it’s already technically feasible to feed electricity from an EV’s battery back into the grid. Projects like this one provide us with important insights into EVs’ potential as energy-storage devices in tomorrow’s energy world.
E.ON Energy Aid for THW
When natural disasters strike, E.ON employees have always lent a hand, typically in the form of monetary donations to relief organizations. Now we can really lend a hand: by providing our energy expertise. Disasters often result in a collapse of the energy supply system. Restoring power fast is essential. So is providing emergency power for relief crews, medical teams, and victim shelters in the disaster zone. THW, a technical assistance agency that’s part of Germany’s Ministry of the Interior, has been responding to disasters in and outside Germany for more than six decades. In early 2012 E.ON and THW forged a public-private partnership called E.ON Energy Aid in order to draw on E.ON’s energy expertise as effectively as possible. The partnership will focus on three areas:
- E.ON technical experts will support THW in evaluating and restoring damaged power infrastructure in disaster zones
- E.ON will help THW develop climate-neutral, self-contained, flexible power-supply solutions for THW’s relief effort
- E.ON and THW will work together to promote volunteering and networking in disaster relief.
E.ON Stakeholder Dialogues
In 2012 E.ON participated in a total of 31 trade fairs, conferences, public events, or other types of gatherings in Germany. These gave us the opportunity to talk to people – customers, policymakers, students, and the general public – about energy issues. We told them about how we’re making energy cleaner and better and helping Germany meet its energy challenges. We also listened carefully to their opinions, concerns, and suggestions and tried to answer their questions accurately and honestly. About 40,000 people visited our booths, and we talked to about 6,500 of them for five minutes or more. People are very interested in energy issues, and we’re eager to share our knowledge. Dialogue events are a learning opportunity for our company, our employees, and the people we talk to.
Putting Energy in Education
Today’s kids will play a vital role in making tomorrow’s world more sustainable. We’re helping to prepare them through Energy for Children (EfC), our companywide program to support energy and environmental education for children and teenagers. We conduct EfC programs in 13 countries. Our flagship EfC project in Germany through 2012 was “Leuchtpol,” Germany’s first nationwide sustainability learning module for preschool teachers. Between 2009 and 2012, Leuchtpol provided training and learning materials to educators from more 10 percent of all German preschools. Each of them works with around 20 preschoolers. Leuchtpol enabled more than 80,000 children aged 3 to 6 to learn about energy and the environment and to have fun while doing so.