Genuine CO2 reductions “Beyond Carbon Zero”
Germany has set course to become climate neutral by 2045. We at MVV will be climate neutral by 2040 already. And we aim to go one step further: We will be one of the first energy companies in Germany to actually become climate positive. Our target for the period from 2040 onwards is: “Beyond Carbon Zero”. This way, we are making a major contribution to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
MVV is the first German energy company, and one of only three in the world, to have its targets verified as Net Zero compatible by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Worldwide, only two other energy companies besides MVV are currently Net Zero compatible.
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We are becoming #climatepositive – and achieving genuine CO2 reductions.
The Mannheim Model
Mannheim is pioneering the energy turnaround, and has all it needs to become one of Germany’s first climate-neutral smart cities. We benefit here from Mannheim’s can-do mentality and the natural conditions and resources available in our region.
Working hand in hand with the City of Mannheim, we are doing all it takes to make heat, electricity and transport green and to offer new solutions to support MVV’s customers in decarbonising their own activities.
To this end, we are accessing and using all available environmentally-friendly technologies and green options.
Via Mannheim to the Paris climate targets
The aim is clear: To ensure that future generations can also benefit from a healthy planet, we have to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 °C. As a responsible company, we are expected to take immediate action. MVV has been setting a good example here for many years now.
Climate protection and the energy turnaround have become our guiding principles, and that in all of our activities.
Warm water and heating in houses and apartments currently account for more than one third of Germany’s CO2 emissions. The heat turnaround is therefore the decisive factor in the energy turnaround. In view of this, we at MVV are pressing ahead with new green energies and technologies. We are designing cutting-edge energy infrastructure that can serve as a blueprint for smart cities across the whole of Europe. And we are reinventing district heating by building on the broadest green electricity and heat portfolio available at any German energy company. This starts with residual heat from waste incineration and ranges via regenerative energy sources such as biomass, biomethane and river heat through to new possibilities in the areas of geothermal energy, biogenic sewage sludge incineration and waste industrial heat.
To obtain a supply of electricity that is absolutely free of CO2, we need more renewable energies. That is why we are consistently working to expand these. With our wholly-owned subsidiaries Juwi and Windwärts, we are promoting wind and solar power worldwide. We are deliberately foregoing transitional solutions such as building new natural gas plants. Not only that: By 2026 at the latest, we at MVV will at least double our proprietary green electricity generation compared with 2016 and newly connect 10,000 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources, such as wind, solar, biomass and biomethane, to the grid. That roughly corresponds to the installed capacity of ten large power plants. Our clear aim is to generate all our electricity in future from renewable energies.
- Customer solutions
When it comes to decarbonisation, MVV is an important partner to all our customers, from private and commercial customers through to business and industry. We are absolutely committed to energy efficiency and climate neutrality in both our B2C and our B2B businesses, we supply data centres with green energy and we offer comprehensive solution-based concepts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at companies of all sizes. Private customers can obtain from us combined products and services to enable them to implement their very own energy turnaround at homes. We are also involved in the “Mannheim as a Location for Industry” initiative. Among other services, we are providing charging infrastructure for the further rapid expansion in e-mobility, and that both locally and in the region, for company car pools and for private consumers, often in combination with PV systems. Step by step, we are making all the products and solutions we provide to our customers green.
Climate positive – how does that work?
In the long term, MVV will not only be climate neutral, it will actually become climate positive. We will then remove more harmful greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than we emit. The key to this is waste incineration.
CO2 is released both when non-recyclable waste decomposes naturally and when it is incinerated. At our waste incineration plants, we can capture the greenhouse gas from the smoke after incineration and then store this gas securely.
At the waste incineration plants, non-recyclable waste is first significantly reduced in volume. During this process, any contaminants and hazardous substances are fully neutralised. Residual emissions of particulate matter, nitric oxides and sulphur dioxides are filtered out using state-of-the-art flue gas cleaning systems. Not only that, at the end of the process unrecycled resources, such as metals and resources for the construction industry, are sorted out and made usable again, i.e. reintroduced to the economic cycle.
We then obtain valuable energy from the waste. We use the energy contained in the non-recyclable waste in the form of heat, electricity and process steam for industry and households.
And if we can filter the carbon compounds contained in the non-recyclable waste out of the flue gas in such a way that these emissions do not reach the atmosphere but are rather stored securely or themselves reused as input materials, then this process is even CO2 negative.
At present, around 50 % of the waste treated at our energy from waste plants is of biogenic origin. The German Building Energy Act classifies biodegradable components of household and industrial waste as biomass and defines the heat generated from these as renewable energy. Biodegradable waste components come from biogenic sources, such as timber, paper, kitchen and garden waste, all of which remove CO2 from the atmosphere in their production (e.g. tree growth). Based on this definition, biogenic waste incineration is climate neutral, as the volume of CO2 released by the waste corresponds to the amount previously removed from the atmosphere, for example during biological growth. However, if this CO2 inherent to the product is immobilised upon incineration by being captured and stored, the fact that the CO2 is not released into the atmosphere again means that the plant acts as a CO2 sink. It thus makes a climate-positive contribution. In technical terms, we aim to achieve this by capturing carbon compounds in the flue gas of the biogenic residual waste. These compounds do not enter the atmosphere but are stored securely or reused as input materials. This way, we remove more CO2 from the atmosphere – and become climate positive.