CAPTION: The availability of renewable energies is becoming increasingly important for companies when deciding where to locate, according to EnviaM. (picture alliance / dpa)
The availability of renewable energies is becoming increasingly important for companies when deciding where to locate, according to EnviaM CEO Stephan Lowis. "This is increasingly determining where companies relocate or make further investments," the head of the eastern German energy supplier told dpa. As examples, he pointed to the settlement of the car manufacturer Tesla in Grünheide (in the eastern German state of Brandenburg) and the construction of a large solar park with BASF in Lusatia, a region in the same state. In the future, it will supply green electricity to the chemical plant in Schwarzheide.
Lowis warned that this is one of the reasons why the expansion of wind energy and photovoltaics must be speeded up. In the eastern state of Saxony, for example, there had been dismantling of wind energy instead of expansion in 2021, he said. According to the Energy Ministry, the number of wind turbines fell from 937 to 930, and installed capacity dropped by 4.1 megawatts. Lowis explained that it is a hindrance if distance rules are interpreted too restrictively. More suitable areas also need to be designated and the licensing authorities need to be staffed in such a way that applications can be processed quickly.
EnviaM supplies almost 1.3 million customers in Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, and Brandenburg with electricity, gas and heat and operates its own wind and solar farms in these regions. In 2022, the Lützen wind farm in Saxony-Anhalt is to be expanded by a further 5.6 megawatts. There are also plans to complete new solar parks in Guben (Brandenburg), Borau (Saxony-Anhalt) and, together with BASF, in Schwarzheide (Brandenburg).
Lowis does not currently foresee any supply bottlenecks for electricity, even though the last nuclear power plants in Germany will be taken off the grid this year and coal-fired power plants will gradually follow in the coming years. However, feared electricity shortages - along with other factors such as rising CO2 prices and the supply situation for natural gas in Europe - are driving up wholesale prices. Forward market prices for the 2022 delivery year, for example, have increased fivefold on the electricity exchange within two years.
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