Volkswagen Pushes Green Power

Carmaker obtains one third electric energy from renewables
Jun 19, 2014 12:00 PM ET

We constantly optimize production in terms of eco-friendlyness. In 2013 alone, our web-based IT tool documented more than 1,260 measures across the Group to optimize processes in the fields of energy and environment. Energy savings of 381 gigawatt-hours (GWh) and CO2 savings of around 229,000 t were achieved, which translates into cost savings of €28.6 million per annum.

Around one third of our global electricity consumption already comes from regenerative sources, and a number of pioneering projects based on renewables are already up and running. Noteworthy success was achieved by all brands in this respect.

The Volkswagen plant at Emden in Germany is a showcase example implementing the “Think Blue. Factory.” concept with a unique combination of renewables. Alongside the world’s largest geothermal field, the site not only uses solar power, biomass, cogeneration and wind power, but is also one of the Group’s first production sites to use innovative hydraulic energy storage.

At the Emden plant, the use of geothermal energy alone saves 12,000 MWh and therefore reduces CO2 emissions by 1,660 t, while at the same time cutting the annual energy bill by €70,000.

The Group not only uses energy from renewable sources produced on-site, but also meets its targets by purchasing green electricity: since the beginning of 2013, 100% of the electricity purchased by Volkswagen Slovakia has been from renewable sources, thereby reducing its indirect CO2 emissions by 22%.

In September 2013, Volkswagen de México signed an agreement with the power utility Mexico Power Group to purchase an annual average of 290,000 MWh of green power. This will be generated by the La Bufa wind farm in Zacatecas state, scheduled to go on stream in September 2014. This green electricity would cover around 60% of demand at the Puebla and Silao plants, and reduce the CO2 balance sheet by 140,000 t each year.

And we will continue the push for more green power: Between now and 2020, the Volkswagen Group is planning to invest some €600 million in widening its use of renewable energy resources: hydropower, wind power, biomass and photovoltaics.

Read this and more about our drive for sustainable mobility and greener car production here.