Companies are playing a central role in climate change mitigation, and Siemens Gamesa is also a big part of that development. The wind turbine manufacturer has now achieved its ambition of becoming fully powered by renewables. Meanwhile, the group now sets out to achieve five new targets to ensure full carbon neutrality before 2050.
"It's important for us, because it's a part of our DNA as a company. We exist to promote renewable energy, and that's why it's natural for us to pursue the same goals we help our customers attain. We must lead the development," says Jonas Pagh Jensen, environmental health and safety specialist at Siemens Gamesa.
The OEM intended to become 100 percent powered by renewable energy by 2025, but the group has now accomplished this feat five years ahead of schedule.
Siemens Gamesa's electricity consumption is covered by green origination certificates that ensure power comes from renewable sources. Moreover, the OEM also owns wind and solar assets that generated more than 390,000 MWh off-site during fiscal year 2020, more than twice its annual consumption, thereby making the OEM a net generator of green energy.
Green origination certificates and solar panels
To ensure that renewable energy is also the power source for manufacturing operations in, for instance, India, the group makes use of green origination certificates beyond implementing other sustainability measures.
"If we take India as an example, we have two solar farms atop our factories and thereby generate our own power. Otherwise we would buy origination certificates," Pagh Jensen says.
Siemens Gamesa uses the I-REC Standard, which ensures that the electricity consumers use actually comes from renewable sources, leading the manufacturer to refute any form of greenwashing.
"There are two ways of looking at it. There's the greenhouse gas standard, which sets the framework for how such things are accounted. And it's correct that this is in several senses an exercise on paper ensuring that generation and usage correlate 1:1," he says and continues:
"The second perspective is that when more renewable energy is brought to market than is consumed, which is the case for Siemens Gamesa, then we think we're beyond this discussion. That's because we not only occupy existing capacity in the market, we also add more."
Each link must be green
With an annual electricity consumption exceeding 180,000 MWh, the OEM offsets more than 80,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Several countries and regions where Siemens Gamesa has "heavy manufacturing footprints" such as Spain, Denmark, Germany and the UK have "led the way and had gone green in recent years", the group writes, adding that other locations have since followed suit.
The plan is for renewables to be the driver of all links in the value chain and for diesel and other non-renewable energy to be replaced within the coming years. The transportation fleets must also be transformed, just as campaigns are being launched and staff awareness cultivated, Pagh Jensen explains.
"It's important for us to have these short-term targets so action also takes place," he says.
Siemens Gamesa will compensate for remaining emissions by using certificates until its achieve zero emissions, the group says.
The German-Spanish turbine maker is not the only wind OEM to set a goal to curb its own carbon emissions. Rivals Vestas and GE both aim for zero emissions in their own operations, both of which seek to do so by 2030.
Vestas says its factories and offices have been powered by renewables since 2013, and GE intends to run entirely on green sources from late 2020.
English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen