Generating energy together
Some of our customers already generate their own sustainable energy locally. For example by means of solar panels or wind turbines. This energy is intended for their own use and, in case of overproduction, also for others. Instead of simply paying for energy, they now save and sometimes even earn money with the energy they produce.
What did we aim to achieve in 2012?
Eneco strives to actively involve customers in sustainable energy. We invest in increasing the share of sustainable production, together with customers or through our own wind farms, solar installations or biomass plants. The target for 2012 was to expand our sustainable production to 15% of the total supply portfolio (2011: 9.9%). An additional aim was to keep our CO2 emissions per kWh of energy produced below 300 grams.
By developing interconnected services, we aim to offer more customers the opportunity to generate their own energy. To this end, we also provide the appropriate infrastructure in the form of smart grids. Eneco enables customers who do not have the possibility to generate their own energy to join in, by giving them the opportunity to participate in a wind or solar energy project. Furthermore, we are applying our knowledge and expertise in the area of infrastructures for the practical use of residual flows such as steam and heat. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the CO2 emissions from the energy that we produce.
What have we achieved?
- Total sustainable energy production increased from 9.9% in 2011 to 12.6% of the total supply in 2012
- 51% of the electricity sales is produced by Eneco or supplied under purchase contracts (2011: 59%)
- In part due to start of operation Enecogen plant, CO2 emissions per kWh of energy produced amounted to 226.9 grams (2011: 154.1)
- Introduction of Eneco Zon&Zeker®, enabling end users to generate their own energy by means of solar panels
- Participations in several solar energy projects in the business sector
- Investment of €273 million in onshore and offshore wind farms and biomass and solar energy installations
- Further development of experience with smart grids
- Start of the construction of the steam pipeline network in the Botlek area
- Connection of an additional 6,000 home equivalents to the district heating networks. Contract concluded with AVR for the supply of residual heat in the Rotterdam area
Sustainable electricity production increases, but not sufficiently
We have worked hard on expanding our sustainable electricity production in 2012. The sustainable electricity production encompasses sustainable electricity that is either produced by Eneco or supplied to Eneco under purchase contracts. The development of our own sustainable production capacity is on schedule, even though we did not achieve our objective. This is described in further detail elsewhere in this chapter. Due to the lower than expected demand for dark green products, the sustainable electricity production amounted to 12.6% of the total supply portfolio, instead of our target of 15%. With WWF, we have agreed a target of 20% for 2013, which we expect to be able to achieve.
Although electricity is produced in a sustainable manner as much as possible, we still need gas plants, especially on windless and cloudy days. Electricity generated from gas is the least polluting alternative to sustainable energy generation. In 2012, 51% of the total amount of electricity supplied by Eneco was generated by our own production facilities or purchased under power purchase agreements (2011: 59%). The main reason for the decrease compared with 2011 is that, during 2012, it was often more sensible to purchase electricity than to deploy our own gas plant production capacity. The growth of our sustainable production capacity and the start of operations at our gas-fired energy plant Enecogen have resulted in an increase of our production capacity by 5% to 2,740 MW (2011: 2,623).
The measure for the sustainability of our own production is the amount of CO2 emissions per kWh of electricity produced. Fully sustainable energy does not generate any CO2 emissions. At present, all our domestic and SME customers are supplied with sustainable energy, an increasingly larger part of which is generated by Eneco itself or in collaboration with partners.
We have agreed with WWF that, in 2013, the average CO2 emissions per kWh of electricity generated by Eneco will not exceed 300 grams. To this end, we invest in wind, solar and biomass energy installations at the most suitable locations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain and France. As a result of these efforts, the average CO2 emissions resulting from our energy production amounted to 226.9 grams/kWh in 2012 (2011: 154.1). This value does not include our purchasing contracts with production facilities of which we have less than 50% ownership. If we also take these into account, our CO2 emissions per kWh amounted to 294.5 grams in 2012. The increase compared with 2011 is caused by the fact that the gas-fired Enecogen energy plant came into production. As a result, the share of production from conventional resources increased at the expense of the production from sustainable resources.