Energy costs drive German firms to on-site power

A growing preference for on-site power generation has become evident in Germany as a reaction to the German government’s energy policy.

The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) President Hans Heinrich Driftmann told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "Every third company in the country is making efforts to generate conventional or renewable energy for their operations."

President Hans Heinrich Driftmann
Mr. Driftmann said this trend was evident across industries against the background of "growing doubts about future energy security." The DIHK's assessment was based on a poll among 2,300 German firms, many of them small and medium-sized enterprises.

Volkswagen (FWBVOW) already generates more than half of its energy needs itself and announced plans to decrease dependency on external providers further in the years ahead.

"We supply our German production facilities 60 percent of self-generated electricity," VW's energy spokesman Wolfram Thomas said in a statement. "As early as next year, our highly efficient combined heat and power stations and self-generated renewables will provide three fourths of the energy needed in our German plants."

VW said it would invest some $841m in photovoltaic installations, wind farms and a second hydroelectric plant in Brazil over the next five years. In addition, the company would in the future use gas instead of coal in its combined heat and power stations with the aim of reducing its carbon dioxide footprint.

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