A green energy future needs pioneers on both sides

Written by: Dr. Klaus Schäfer

Green electricity is the basis of a climate-neutral future. Its expansion is urgent. That's why Covestro is taking action - together with our partner Ørsted, and others. By signing the first power purchase agreement from the project in 2019, we helped pave the way for the construction of Germany's largest offshore wind farm, Borkum Riffgrund 3. For Covestro, it was also the first step in the transformation of our energy supply.

Renewable energies are one of four pillars for realizing our vision of a circular economy. But the demand for green electricity is growing immensely, not just in our company but throughout the chemical industry - especially due to the electrification of existing processes and the use of green hydrogen. So we need significantly more wind power, solar energy and other renewables for our industry, and we need them at competitive prices. We've been drawing attention to this fact for a long time. And even more important: We set impulses.

Covestro relies on green electricity

By entering into what was then the world's largest industrial power purchase agreement for electricity from offshore wind, we have put an exclamation mark in 2019 together with Ørsted - even beyond the boundaries of the chemical industry. Starting in 2025, we will purchase green electricity from the 83 wind turbines of Borkum Riffgrund 3 in the North Sea for our German sites for a period of ten years.

Dr. Klaus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer of Covestro, explains the company's plans for the planned supply of green electricity from 2025.

This allows us to be part of a special success story. What makes it special is not only that Borkum Riffgrund 3, with a capacity of 900 MW, will be the largest German offshore wind farm. On top of that, the project also demonstrates what partnerships can achieve. There is a need for pioneers, such as Ørsted, among the electricity producers who are determined to drive forward the energy transition. But we also need pioneers on the customer side who support such projects at a very early stage.

Courage to transform

As the first key customer of Borkum Riffgrund 3, we are pleased that the offshore wind farm is launching its implementation with a positive investment decision. From 2025, we will obtain 100 MW of green electricity from it for our German sites. This marks an important step forward for us in the direction of climate-neutral production. At the same time, as the world's leading manufacturer of innovative, sustainable and versatile high-tech polymer materials, we want to continue to pave the way for a sustainable future - in our industry and beyond. The cooperation with Ørsted was therefore the start of a series of partnerships in the energy sector.

Acting in concert for a common goal

Over the past two years, we have secured large volumes of green electricity for our sites in Belgium and China. We want to continue to play a pioneering role and are working to switch our energy supply completely to renewable energy. And at the same time, our materials for the wind power industry are helping to increase the efficiency and durability of new turbines.

But the truth is that goodwill on the part of the industry alone will not be enough. The political roadmap needs to be set, above all to speed up approval procedures for new turbines and ease the burden on electricity prices for consumers and industry. That is why the task for governments in the next few years is to lead the way: Be pioneers and make bold decisions to lend the needed tailwind to the transformation of our economy and society.

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