ENERGY AND EMISSIONS
Sustainability and environmental protection are integral parts of our
business operations. We are a worldwide pioneer in the integration of
volatile renewable energies: In 2016, around 48 per cent of the in-fed
electricity in our control area came from wind or photovoltaic power,
or biomass. Sustainability was also a major consideration from the
start in the construction of our 50Hertz Netzquartier building in
Berlin Mitte. The building, finished in 2016, sets new standards in
terms of energy efficiency, ecology, utilisation options and accessibility
– the fact that it received the internationally recognised Gold
Award of the German Association for Sustainable Building (Deutsche
Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen or DGNB) and the American
LEED Standard (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
speaks for itself. Our regional centres in Röhrsdorf and Hamburg
Ost were also built as sustainable structures.
The external energy audit conducted during the reporting period
revealed optimisation potential across the Company. We are now
carefully examining the feasibility of these optimisations in terms
of economy and sustainability. Not all locations are equipped with
suitable energy and heat meters to reasonably analyse the energy
needs and identify potential savings. We are currently checking
where such devices can be successively installed in order to precisely
record consumption data.
The influencable total energy consumption of 50Hertz in 2014 was
59,831.710 megawatt hours (MWh) without transmission losses. The
major proportion of the total energy consumption at about 85 per cent
was electricity consumption. Diesel consumption was in second place
with 9.7 per cent, followed by district heating at 4.1 per cent.
Some energy is always lost when electricity is transmitted, whether
as current heat loss in transmission lines, in transformers and other
system elements, or as leakage and corona loss. These grid losses are
happening primarily because we are transmitting electricity over
long distances, for example from offshore wind farms to southern
Germany. In 2016, 50Hertz recorded grid losses of 2.05 terawatt
hours. The average grid losses at the extra-high-voltage level were
196.7 megawatt; those of transformation were 36.9 megawatt.
According to the German Energy Act (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz)
and the Grid Access Directive (Stromnetzzugangsverordnung), we
are obliged to procure the energy necessary to cover grid loss in
a market-oriented, transparent and non-discriminatory process.
The average costs during the report period were 3.8 cents/kilowatt
hour. With the SuedOstLink between Saxony-Anhalt and Bavaria,
we are planning the first 400 kV extra-high-voltage direct current
transmission line in our control area. This technology is more suitable
than conventional three-phase AC current technology to expediently
transport large amounts of energy over long distances with lower
grid loss and optimal control (more on this topic in the Annual Report
in the chapter “Our business” on p. 32–34).