Menu image/svg+xml

Local acceptance of RE plants Responsibility, challenges and solutions for energy-intensive industrial companies

From chemical companies to steel producers to cement factories – for energy-intensive industries, replacing fossil fuels is a major challenge. Especially for internationally competing companies, security of supply and the lowest possible energy costs play an important role. Whether the transformation to a climate-neutral industry in Germany succeeds therefore stands and falls with the effective expansion of renewable energies (RE). However, this expansion stalled significantly between 2018 and 2020, especially with regard to wind energy. One reason for this an acceptance problem among the local population.

Energy-intensive companies therefore have an interest in increasing the acceptance of RE plants. Although they cannot usually influence the operating companies directly, they can use various instruments to help ensure that RE expansion proceeds with as little conflict as possible and is sustainable overall. In this contribution by the IÖW to the anthology "Acceptance Strategies in Energy-Intensive Industries" published by the Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy Intensive Industries (KEI), the connection between energy-intensive companies and acceptance problems in RE expansion is first examined in more detail. On this basis, the authors discuss possible solutions for a sustainable design: On the one hand, labels and certificates that identify sustainable electricity quantities and thus provide orientation for industrial companies in their electricity purchasing are promising. On the other hand, energy-intensive companies can directly participate in shaping the energy transition in their region – within the framework of self-supply models, power purchase agreements (PPAs) with local RE power producers or through direct participation in citizen energy companies and RE communities.

To the anthology (in German only)