Climate neutrality Bosch expands supply of renewable energies

By 2022, the Bosch plant in Eisenach intends to cover its own power requirements with PV systems and the exclusive purchase of electricity from wind power.
By 2022, the Bosch plant in Eisenach intends to cover its own power requirements with PV systems and the exclusive purchase of electricity from wind power.

Renewable energies are one of the key levers on the road to climate neutrality. That is why Bosch is expanding its own power generation at its locations and, in the long term, will purchase electricity from renewable sources.

To this end, the technology and services company is concluding three exclusive long-term contracts for photovoltaic (PV) electricity with the suppliers RWE, Statkraft, and Vattenfall. Despite the current challenging situation caused by the corona pandemic, Bosch is continuing to pursue its climate protection plans with determination: »Climate change never stops - and neither do we. We want to achieve our ambitious goal of no longer leaving a CO₂ footprint by the end of the year,« says Volkmar Denner, CEO of the Bosch Group. This is an ambitious goal, but – according to Bosch, all 400 Bosch locations worldwide are to be climate-neutral by the end of the year – the German locations have been climate-neutral since the end of 2019, according to the company.

Increasing energy efficiency

In order to achieve CO2 neutrality, Bosch is investing not only in renewable energy supplies, but above all in energy efficiency at its locations. For example, the company intends to further improve the ecological quality of CO2's carbon footprint by 2030 with the help of these two measures. As a short-term lever, Bosch also purchases green electricity from existing plants and compensates unavoidable CO2 emissions with selected climate protection measures. »We are making faster progress with our measures than expected,« said Denner. Bosch intends to significantly increase the percentage of renewable energies in consumption. Bosch intends to achieve this with the three new long-term contracts for PV electricity. In 2019, the company will have emitted a total of around 1.94 million tons of CO2 worldwide – around a third less than in the previous year.

100,000 MW/h from new photovoltaic parks

With the three plants planned by the contractual partners RWE, Statkraft and Vattenfall, Bosch intends to produce an annual volume of more than 100,000 MW/h from 2021 onwards - equivalent to the annual electricity requirements of up to 30,000 private households. Under optimal PV conditions, the maximum generation capacity is sufficient to cover the entire electricity requirements of the plants in Feuerbach, Homburg, and Bamberg simultaneously, calculated on an hourly basis. The long-term contracts replace part of Bosch's green electricity purchases from existing regenerative plants and run for between 12 and 16 years. Supplies from Statkraft already began in May.

The Bosch Group is also aiming for such long-term contracts outside Germany. In Mexico, for example, the company already covers up to 80 percent of its electricity needs with »New Clean Power«. Many of the Bosch locations there receive electricity from a newly constructed wind farm operated by the energy group Enel, which produces around 105,000 MW/h per year. The cooperation with Enel has been concluded for a period of 15 years.

Covering energy requirements with in-house power generation

In addition to the activities on renewable energy sources, Bosch is increasing its own power supply: The company currently generates around 60,000 MW/h per year from almost 50 PV systems at its own locations. At the Bosch site in Nashik, India, the largest plant of its kind in the Indian automotive industry has been built. Overall, the volume of electricity generated by the company's own regenerative power supply is expected to grow to 400,000 MW/h by 2030. A photovoltaic system at the Bosch plant in Hemaraj, Thailand, with an annual power generation of 1,300 MW/h is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Bosch also operates projects for energy generation in the fields of hydropower and biomass. New approaches such as heat and electricity from hydrogen are also part of the energy supply. Last year, for example, the prototype of a stationary fuel cell developed by Bosch was put into operation at the Homburg and Bamberg locations. The fuel cell covers peak demand for electrical energy.

In Salzgitter, Bosch is working together with the Fraunhofer Institute and other companies based there to set up a hydrogen center, the Hydrogen Campus, which is funded by the city and state of Lower Saxony. In addition, a fuel cell pilot plant based on SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) technology was put into operation at the Bosch training center in Wernau at the end of June.

A flagship project is under construction in Thuringia: By 2022, the Bosch plant in Eisenach plans to cover its own electricity needs with PV systems and exclusive use of electricity from wind power. It also plans to minimize its energy requirements with a sophisticated energy management system based on artificial intelligence.