Uniper, the third largest listed energy company in Germany and one of the pioneers in the use of power-to-gas technology for the production of green gas, announced at its balance sheet press conference for the 2019 financial year that it would make its European power generation portfolio climate-neutral by 2035 to want. The announcement is part of a fundamental strategic reorientation that focuses on a secure and at the same time more climate-friendly energy supply.
To this end, Uniper wants to gradually reduce the CO2 emissions of its own portfolio. At the same time, the company plans to increasingly offer its customers climate-friendly energy solutions and products. Uniper operates modern and flexible power generation plants, a large gas business and the corresponding infrastructure. The company is in an ideal position to accelerate and shape the energy transition.
“By 2040, global energy demand will increase significantly. At the same time, CO2 emissions must be permanently reduced and the energy supply must be made climate-friendly. With a unique portfolio, Uniper is part of the solution to this global challenge. Our transformation towards a more climate-friendly company is in full swing. We have set the strategic course to significantly accelerate decarbonization. Since the path to an emission-free future also requires the necessary financial resources, we will invest more in new, attractive business areas.— Andreas Schierenbeck, Uniper CEO
By 2022, Uniper intends to invest around 1.2 billion euros in projects that will accelerate the transition to a low-CO2 energy world. New investment criteria also stipulate that in future all investment projects must contribute to the company’s decarbonization goals in addition to business criteria.
With the plan published at the end of January 2020 to end its coal-fired power generation in Germany, Uniper initiated the transition to becoming a more climate-friendly energy supplier. Consequently, the next major milestone is to advance CO2 emissions in the European Generation segment from 22 million tonnes today to net zero in 2035. Uniper is already producing around 24 terawatt hours of CO2-free electricity with its hydroelectric and nuclear power plants in Germany and Sweden. This corresponds to around 40 percent of Uniper’s total electricity production in Europe. The company plans to significantly increase the proportion of CO2-free electricity production in the coming years – for example through long-term power purchase agreements for wind and solar power, so-called power purchase agreements.
Because gas can play a key role in both decarbonization and energy security, it should form a central focus of Uniper’s future strategy. Uniper is therefore planning to further expand its broad-based gas business and also gradually decarbonize it. The company is pushing ahead with the conversion to gas-based systems both at its own locations and on the customer side, for example in Gelsenkirchen-Scholven.
As European gas production is declining and demand is increasing, the need for imports will increase. As one of the largest gas importers and gas storage operators in Europe, Uniper will also continue to help ensure the security of gas and LNG supplies in Europe. Uniper is involved both in the pipeline gas sector, such as in the Nord Stream 2 project, and in the expansion of LNG infrastructure, for example in Wilhelmshaven.
Green gas is becoming increasingly important
In both energy generation and energy trading, Uniper plans to gradually replace conventional gas with green gas or green hydrogen. Uniper is a pioneer in the use of power-to-gas technology, which makes green hydrogen possible, and initiated corresponding projects at an early stage. The company installed the first power-to-gas plant in Falkenhagen in 2013, followed by another in Hamburg in 2015. In 2018, Uniper added a methanation plant to the plant in Falkenhagen.
In addition, Uniper is driving forward cross-sector industrial projects with various real-world laboratory projects together with refineries and the automotive industry, which could promptly enable entry into hydrogen production under market conditions. “The technologies are there – what is missing is profitability and the right regulatory framework. In addition to openness to technology, a holistic, pan-European approach is needed that promotes a hydrogen industry that can thrive and stay in Europe. Uniper wants to play an active role in shaping this and promote the key issue of hydrogen together with representatives from industry, science and politics,” announced Schierenbeck.
1300 mobile fast chargers planned
Uniper is also entering the e-mobility business with mobile fast charging stations for electric cars with a charging capacity of up to 150 kW, as project managers Jose Abel Cabezas Jimenez and Christian Folke revealed in an interview with the Energate Messenger specialist portal. The mobile charging stations, each about the size of a phone booth, should be able to be set up anywhere in Europe in less than 24 hours.
Their advantage is that, thanks to the integrated battery storage, they also work without a mains connection. Before delivery, they are charged with green electricity at central network nodes. “This means that we offer a very good option for inner cities, for example, to enter electric mobility without risk,” says Jimenez. Other use cases are also conceivable, since the system is “adaptable, scalable and flexible”. As a target group, Uniper has petrol stations, supermarket or restaurant chains and municipal utilities in mind, among others. Larger events such as concerts or festivals are also possible locations, where diesel generators are currently often used.
The starting price for renting a charging station should be around 50 euros per day. Further sources of income could be created by renting advertising space on the pillars and marketing on the control energy market, while the electricity storage is connected to the central network nodes. In the medium term, the company envisages “more than 1,300 mobile fast charging stations in Germany by the end of 2024,” said Jimenez. They should be located primarily in metropolitan areas such as Berlin, Munich or the Ruhr area.
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1 thought on “Uniper: Climate-neutral power generation & mobile fast charging stations”
GREEN WASHING ALERT! Uniper mainly operates coal and gas-fired power plants, possibly. a couple of old depreciated hydroelectric power stations.
Now they want to revamp their image. If I have to fill up with electricity at Uniper, then I will probably drive with heavy fuel oil, which is more environmentally friendly.
Elektro only makes sense if it is really invested in renewable energies. And not only talked about it!