A milestone on the road to 100% renewable energies for RENOLIT

A post by:     Michael Kundel
Last updated: 2024-04-23

We at RENOLIT know: The future must be sustainable. But climate protection in particular is a major challenge for an industrial company. We have now reached an important milestone on the road to 100 per cent renewable energy at RENOLIT. In this article, I describe what this looks like - and how we want to combine our further progress with maintaining our competitiveness.

The goal: RENOLIT's energy requirements should become completely CO2 neutral

We have set ourselves a clear goal: By 2045, we want to become completely CO2-neutral worldwide in Scope 1 and Scope 2. That is a mammoth task. The four German plants of RENOLIT alone have an average electricity consumption of around 90 million kilowatt hours per year. That corresponds to the needs of almost 27,000 average households!

In addition to the costs involved in switching to renewable energies, the main challenge here is that we need absolute reliability - and sufficient capacity.

Compatibility of climate protection and competitiveness

Climate protection is an important responsibility for us. As a company, however, we must never lose sight of our competitiveness. We only have the means to successfully implement climate protection if we are doing well economically.
Because we are aware of our great responsibility for greater sustainability, our goal is to harmonise climate protection and profitability!

This has been a major challenge so far. We cannot switch to renewable energies overnight like a private household. And for many measures, we are not strong enough on our own. To put it in simple terms: RENOLIT cannot simply build power plants or create an infrastructure for hydrogen, for example.

An entire hydropower plant - just for RENOLIT

I am therefore very pleased that we have now reached a real milestone on the way to a CO2-neutral RENOLIT. This is because we have concluded a so-called Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the northern German energy supplier EWE.

With this PPA, we are purchasing all of the electricity that the Bremen-Hastedt hydropower plant will produce between 2025 and 2028. That is more than 30 million kilowatt hours of electricity from purely renewable energy per year.

What is particularly important to me is that the electricity is not only CO2-neutral, but also environmentally friendly. This is because the power plant has a comprehensive fish protection concept.

This agreement will enable us to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the products manufactured at our German sites. Over the next four years, more than 37,000 tonnes of CO2 will be saved.

These 30 million kilowatt hours correspond to only a third of our German electricity requirements. This shows how difficult it is to convert an entire industry to green electricity.

It is therefore clear to me that we must significantly expand electricity generation from renewable energies in Germany.

Climate protection in company association

But how can this be achieved? How can we as RENOLIT alone convert the missing two thirds of purchased electricity to renewable energies?

I am convinced that we need to work much more closely with other companies than we have done in the past, in addition to taking measures on our own. After all, the motto "Together we are strong" applies particularly in the field of energy generation.

What a company like RENOLIT cannot achieve on its own is perhaps much easier for an association of many companies. Medium-sized companies in particular should work together more closely here. For example, it would even be conceivable for them to realise their own power plant projects.

Initiative EE-Industry: The first one of this sort

I am therefore very pleased about the EE-Industrie initiative. It is the first alliance of companies founded with the aim of generating CO2-neutral energy.

The aim is for German SMEs and our business location to remain competitive - and become sustainable at the same time. Together with many other medium-sized and large companies, we want to participate in this initiative to build wind power and photovoltaic systems and thus produce green electricity ourselves.

This initiative is still in its infancy - but I believe it is a promising approach. We will therefore continue to support it.

RENOLIT becomes sustainable

One thing is clear to me: RENOLIT is becoming sustainable. There are still many challenges along the way - but there is no alternative. This is the only way we can remain competitive in the long term and fulfil our responsibility for the future. The contract with EWE is a real milestone - and we are now preparing the next steps at full speed.