GRI 102-21, GRI 102-40
Despite the hygiene measures introduced following the COVID-19 pandemic, regular contact between 50Hertz and its stakeholders continued. Communication methods and channels were adapted and expanded to include virtual and hybrid events, and appropriate social distancing measures were followed depending on the event type. The focus of many events throughout 2021 was the "100 percent by 2032 - new energy for a strong economy" initiative, as part of which 50Hertz aims to have 100% of the energy demand in its grid area covered by renewable energy by 2032.
Together, 50Hertz and the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IG BCE) held a series of roundtable discussions with representatives from politics and business which culminated in a big event at the company’s headquarters. Stefan Kapferer, the CEO of 50Hertz, and IG BCE head Michael Vassiliadis invited several key figures to these discussions, including minister presidents, state secretaries and the ministers and senators responsible for energy across the company’s grid area. Guests included Dr. Reiner Haseloff (the Minister President of Saxony-Anhalt), Bodo Ramelow (the Minister President of Thuringia) and Michael Kretschmer (the Minister President of Saxony), as well as the Federal Government’s Commissioner for Eastern Germany Marco Wanderwitz. Additional guests included the heads of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) and Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI). The series of roundtables therefore included guests from energy-intensive industries from the chemical, steel, copper, glass, paper and cement sectors in the 50Hertz control area, but also new companies that are interested in sustainable investment, such as companies from the automotive industry, battery suppliers or the owners of large data centres. Renewable producers, scientific institutes, think tanks and other associations also took part in the discussions. In a joint summary, 50Hertz and IG BCE recorded the goals and demands that were raised during the roundtable discussions. 50Hertz CEO Stefan Kapferer summarised what politics and business will tackle together in future, and agreed on the following points: electricity must become cheaper; the expansion of renewables and the needed grid infrastructure must be accelerated; and climate protection should be prioritised in the granting of permits.
‘Germany wants to be climate-neutral by 2045. This is definitely only possible if we work together and if many actors act in concert. The time for debates about the right targets and tools, which have often escalated in the past, is over. Stakeholders from very different backgrounds came together for the “Together. Faster. Climate-neutral.” initiative and agreed on a wide set of measures. What ties all these measures together is mutual consensus. The transition towards a climate-neutral economy will only be successful if it is discussed with citizens at an early stage and if they can partake in value creation and growth.’
The “Together. Faster. Climate-Neutral.” was launched to further develop 50Hertz’s strategic ambitions. Stakeholders from industry, associations and NGOs were called upon to develop a catalogue of pragmatic proposals for action. The goal was to accelerate the expansion of renewable energy and electricity grids - key factors for a successful energy transition. The initiative included a consultation and analysis phase, as well as an evaluation phase that was led by a panel of three experts (Prof. Dr. Barbara Praetorius, HTW Berlin; Dr. Felix Matthes, Öko-Institut; and 50Hertz CEO Stefan Kapferer). The catalogue of measures that was subsequently produced was intended to serve as a basis for the recently elected Federal Government to identify and work on action areas which aim to speed up the energy transition. In addition to 50Hertz, Aurubis, RWE Renewables, TÜV Nord Systems, TenneT, Vattenfall Wärme, Wacker Chemie and the major distribution system operators from east Germany (who joined forces as part of the ARGE FNB Ost (working group of distribution system operators), are also part of the “Together. Faster. Climate-Neutral.” initiative.
‘Infrastructure is key for decarbonising the energy sector. Our political stakeholders are aware of this fact.’
50Hertz also interacts with stakeholders via two social media platforms: Twitter and LinkedIn. The corporate LinkedIn account has over 16,000 followers, while its Twitter account has over 3,000 followers. Stakeholders are kept informed, can ask questions and provide feedback about company developments via these channels.
Over 600 guests took part in the second “Electricity Market Forum”, a joint event which was held online by the four German TSOs: 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT and TransnetBW. During this cross-sector discussion (which involved representatives from industry and civil society), the challenges presented by the energy transition and possible solutions to these were discussed by different expert panels. The topics under discussion included the acceleration of the energy transition; shaping the market design so it is adapted to the new challenges; joint ways to expand renewable energy; and the building of the necessary infrastructure which will be able to transport this energy.
Elia Group’s annual stakeholders day was held as a hybrid event for the second time in 2021. It included panel discussions and presentations from different speakers. The Elia Group study “Roadmap to net zerowas presented during the event. The different energy scenarios explored in the study, alongside the assumptions made as part of them, were discussed throughout the event.
In 2020, a customer survey was carried out for the second time. A total of 1,054 customers were asked to fill out an online evaluation of the company; these customers included balancing service providers, network and metering point operators and customers who are directly connected to the 50Hertz grid (such as large industrial sites).