Our approach for more renewable energy
To narrow the focus of our integrated climate strategy, we are currently devising suitable goals and strategies in the field of renewable energy. One thing is clear – we want to increase the share of renewable energy across the Group and thus reduce our carbon emissions. To do that, we are sourcing more green electricity directly, acquiring corresponding guarantees of origin, or concluding power purchase agreements (PPAs), as is the case in the United States. Whenever possible and practicable, we are already investing in our own power plants – for instance in the construction of cogeneration plants and the installation of photovoltaic systems.
We have been recording the “Renewable Energy” ESG KPI since 2016. The KPI is calculated based on the share of renewable energy in total electricity consumption. In 2018, the figure was at 52 percent across the Group (41 percent in 2017). This means we have already exceeded the target of a 50 percent share by 2020, which is just an internal target at present.
Moreover, we have developed Group-wide parameters, which we can use to evaluate electricity purchases in the national companies with regard to sustainability. They include, for instance, the average emission factor of the electricity mix (i.e. the amount of emissions for every kilowatt hour of electricity used) and the proportion of renewable energy. These parameters help us make our current energy mix transparent and increase the future share of energy obtained from renewable sources.
Producing cleaner energy with photovoltaics
At our technology sites in Germany, we are increasingly relying on solar energy. By the end of 2018, we were already operating more than 300 of our own solar photovoltaic plants overall. In total, the plants have a capacity of just under 4,000 kWp (kilowatt peak). Moreover, the existing plants yielded over five percent more in 2018 than in the previous year. In this way, we are reducing our ecological footprint by more than 1,700 metric tons of CO2 every year. The construction of another large plant at our site in Winterfeldstrasse in Berlin has run into delays due to structural requirements and will likely only be completed in the third quarter of 2019.
Over the coming years, our goal is to equip further sites with photovoltaic plants. In 2018, we drew up a concept specifying how we can render more roof space usable for photovoltaic systems. Our internal energy service provider, Power & Air Solutions, is responsible for installing the systems.
More green energy at Europeanour national companies
In our European national companies, we want to increase the share of renewable energy in our overall energy consumption to an annual level of at least 10 percent above that of the respective national energy mix. In the reporting period, we were able to further increase the share of renewable energy in the European national companies. On average, the share of renewable energy was registered at about 20 percentage points above the respective country mix*. To achieve this, the national companies can also consider acquiring certificates (guarantees of origin) and concluding power purchase agreements (PPAs) for electricity obtained from renewable energy. Our national company in the United States made a particularly large contribution to this increase, but the proportion of renewable energy used in Germany went up, too.
Our national companies in Albania, Greece (OTE), the Netherlands, and Hungary are already pioneers in this field and cover 100 percent of their electricity needs with renewable energies. T-Mobile US is planning on procuring its electricity entirely from renewables by 2021 – predominantly from wind power.
We are making the share of renewable energy transparent on a national company level:
* In the calculation of the share of renewable energy in electricity procurement, the provider mix, the residual mix, or the country mix is used as available, according to the IEA factor (in this order). The share of renewable energy in the residual mix is typically lower than the share in the country mix. For Germany, the EEG surcharge paid is taken into account when calculating the share of renewable energy.