Originally published on the ECOreport
No other utility company has more installed renewable capacity or uses a stronger proportion of renewably produced electricity. According to recent press releases, the utility giant E.ON leads the way to Germany’s Green Grid.
E.ON Leads Germany’s Renewable Grid
“Renewables account for more than 80 percent of the electricity that flows through our networks, well above the national average. This demonstrates that E.ON already operates the innovative, efficient energy networks of the future. Each year we invest more than €1 billion to expand our networks in Germany,” said Thomas König, Managing Director of E.ON Deutschland.
32 GW of the 96 GW of installed renewables capacity subsidized under Germany’s Renewable Energy Law were connected to E.ON by the end of 2015.
The utility works with 100,000 facilities, subsidized under the Renewable Energy Law, in the North of Germany, which are connected to the company’s three networks – Avacon, E.DIS, and Schleswig-Holstein Netz AG.
There are around 260,000 renewable-energy facilities in Bavaria, a large proportion of which are solar.
This emphasis on renewables is not accidental. A recent study from Fraunhofer suggests that for Germany to obtain 85% of its energy from renewables by 2050, it will need a mix of roughly “168 GW (onshore wind), 33 GW (offshore wind), 166 GW (photovoltaics), and approx. 159 GW (solar thermal energy for low- temperature heat).” [1. Hans-Martin Henning & Andreas Palzer, What Will the Energy Transformation Cost?, Fraunhofer ISE, p 45]
A More Efficient Grid Changes
E.ON is also in the forefront of smart grid and storage capacity adaptation.
As a result of a strategic alliance with Dresden-based SOLARWATT GmbH,the utility will be offering its solar customers a new modular storage device which is reputedly easy to install to add on increased capacity.
“An increasing number of our customers want to become more energy autonomous. Together with SOLARWATT we can offer them a complete solution that fits their individual needs,” said E.ON Management Board member Bernhard Reutersberg.
Within a few years, every German solar array will have storage devices. There is also a huge potential market in the nation’s 1.5 million existing solar arrays.
E.ON partnered with Siemens for the pending rollout of intelligent metering systems in 2017. This is connected to the digitalization of Germany’s economy, which will make increased adoption of fluctuating renewable electricity sources possible.
Photo Credits: Head Office E.ON Climate & Renewables, Düsseldorf, Germany – Courtesy E.ON; Construction of E.ON’s offshore wind farm Amrumbank in the North Sea – Courtesy E.ON; Fig. 32 Profile of the total installed power of wind turbines and photovoltaic plants in the 85-% scenario – What Will the Energy Transformation Cost?; Pellworm, in Northern Germany courtesy E.ON