In a recent statement, juwi hit back at claims that renewable energies increase electricity prices, saying that they do in fact have “a price dampening effect at the European Energy Exchange (EEX)”. The company uses Germany as an example, explaining that wind and solar power systems increasingly push expensive, conventional peak load power stations out of the grid and thus clearly lower the prices at the EEX. “That is especially visible in times of strong wind. A large amount of power is generated by wind turbines and fed into the grid, as a result electricity prices at the stock exchange reach zero,” says the company.
Solar power systems have a similar effect. Take the following example: The total output of all German solar power systems on 6 September 2010 at noontime amounted to approximately ten gigawatt; this corresponds to the total output of five nuclear power plants. “The question is - what do we want: a few market dominating companies or an independent and decentralized energy supply with renewable energies – and with it a clean, secure, fair and inexpensive electricity supply which boosts competition and – with regional value creation - the local economy“, says CEO, Matthias Willenbacher.
Decentralisation is certainly key to meeting rising energy demand says juwi, which is in the process of establishing new subsidiaries around the world. “We [have] entered into new, promising markets such as India, South Africa, Great Britain, Bulgaria or Chile and extend our business in the countries in which we are already active. Our goal: an internationalisation of regionalization,” says COO, Jochen Magerfleisch.
In Birmingham (England) for example, juwi plans to create up to 60 jobs by the end of 2012 and wants to construct solar power plants with a total output of 60 MW. In Bangalore (India), the company plans to roll out solar power plants with a total output of up to 100 MW, while it South Africa and Chile it is initially focusing on wind energy, with the construction of up to 200 to 300 MW of capacity.
juwi is also making headway in Costa Rica, where the project developer constructed one of the biggest wind farms in the country in 2009. Now, a second wind project is being built near the capital city, San José. The wind farm will boast 17 turbines with a total power of 15.3 megawatts.
“Great strides” towards energy transition
As a result of this international expansion, the German renewable energy specialist reveals that it expects to create approximately 500 jobs in 2011 and will generate a turnover in excess of €1 billion for the first time in its history, driven by a global shift in energy supply towards renewable energies and a decentralisation of the energy market with independent customers.
After creating 350 jobs in 2010, the project developer wants to add another 500 employees to its workforce of 1,100 in 2011. Meanwhile, turnover is expected to increase from around €800 millions in 2010 to more than €1.1 billion in 2011.
“Decentralized renewable energy gives consumers independence from incalculable world markets for limited raw materials. With renewable energy, people can create clean and inexpensive power — in their region or at home. This is the aim, this is a chance — for the people, for the economy,” explain Matthias Willenbacher and the company’s other CEO, Fred Jung, both of whom founded the company 15 years ago.
Rising demand for wind, solar, bioenergy
The demand for wind, solar and bioenergy increases steadily and juwi is responding. Juwi Wind GmbH plans to construct turbines with a total output of more than 300 megawatts (MW) this year.
In the solar sector, solar power plants with a total output 330 MW shall be installed worldwide in 2011. While juwi will construct solar power plants in 16 countries on five continents, the focus will remain on its homeland, Germany, where 200 MW will be rolled out. One of the most prominent projects is the extension of the Lieberose solar park with an additional 18 MW. With 71 MW, Lieberose will become the second largest solar park in Germany and the world’s fourth largest.
“Not only municipalities, but also more and more companies are interested in renewable energy,” says juwi, which has constructed one of the world’s largest rooftop solar power plants on the roof of the tyre manufacturer Goodyear Dunlop (output 7.4 MW) in Philippsburg. “Solar carports are in high demand as well – companies use these to roof over car parks and to produce clean energy,” it adds.
In addition to wind and solar, the company says bio energy is going to be developed on a large scale in Germany – with up to four wood pellet and briquetting plants (with an annual total capacity of approximately 180,000 tonnes), a wood chip heating plant and with up to three biogas plants.
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