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In Lima, Bosch addresses the global business community's contribution to protecting the climate
After being extended for an extra day, the World Climate Conference drew to a close in Lima this past weekend. In the end, the participating countries were able to reach a basic consensus and define basic criteria for national climate protection agreements. The 37-page document will shape the foundation of the global climate agreement that will be concluded at the next United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2015. The aim of the agreement is to limit the increase in global temperatures to two degrees Celsius.
As a global provider of technology and services that focuses on energy-efficient products, Bosch was present at the conference to talk about the reduction of CO2 emissions around the world. The company took part in a number of events, including the “Caring for Climate Business Forum”, a conference where some 250 representatives from business, politics, and civil society discussed the economic opportunities of a low-carbon economy. Prominent speakers included UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as well as Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). At the press conference of the International Chamber of Commerce on December 8, Bosch also had the opportunity to present its CO2 reduction targets to journalists from around the world. We also presented our view of the political framework required for companies to invest in developing efficiency technologies.
As a company, Bosch sees great potential for energy savings in the areas of residential and commercial buildings, industrial processes, and transport. Here, we see power and fuel-saving solutions as drivers of innovation that will allow us to maintain our competitive edge while at the same time contributing to lower energy costs. These are two of the reasons why we spend about half of our annual research and development budget on products that minimize the use of raw materials, and thus help protect the environment. In addition to this, by 2020 we aim to reduce the relative CO2 emissions of our locations by 20 percent over 2007 levels.
You will find a video clip of the ICC press conference here
Stricter emissions limits for Germany starting in 2015
The cold winter days see homeowners using their tiled ovens or fireplaces as a pleasant, low CO2 source of heat. As a renewable resource, firewood has a much lower carbon footprint than natural gas. However, from January 2015, the owners of wood-burning stoves, ovens, and open fireplaces will also have to take other environmental requirements into account as the German Federal Emission Protection Directive for small and medium sized firing systems (1. BlmSchV) goes into effect.
The directive aims to encourage fireplace owners to upgrade or replace their ovens so that particle emissions in residential buildings are reduced. In this way, it supports the German federal government’s sustainable energy and climate protection policy. At the same time, it will prevent hazardous substances from being emitted as a result of wood burning.
The new rules apply especially to old systems that are at least 40 years old. If their particle emissions exceed the permissible limit of 0.15 grams per cubic meter and their carbon monoxide emissions are greater than four grams per cubic meter, the homeowners concerned can either upgrade or replace their ovens by the end of 2014. They can either buy a new system or have their old wood-burning stoves retrofitted with a particle filter, which costs between 600 and 1000 euros.
While modern ovens generally meet the new requirements, homeowners should inform themselves of emissions limits nonetheless before they opt for a tiled oven. This is because even newer models that do not comply with the new standard will have to be upgraded or replaced in the coming years.
Reducing global energy consumption with technical innovation
On November 2, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented the results of its Fifth Assessment Report in Copenhagen. The more than 2000-page report summarizes current expertise on global warming and highlights the risks of climate change. Recommendations for action have been developed based on the report. These will be discussed at the United Nations World Climate Conference, which is scheduled to take place at the beginning of December in Lima, the capital of Peru.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the fifth report proves that rising temperatures and sea levels are the result of high concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Experts believe that human influence is likely the main reason for this. In order to mitigate climate change, scientists recommend drastically decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, to the tune of 40 to 70 percent by 2050, and 100 percent by 2100. To achieve this, the transition to renewable sources of energy and away from CO2-emitting fuels such as coal, oil, and gas would have to be faster around the world. Moreover, using energy more efficiently at a global level is indispensable. The IPCC sees innovative technology as one way of stabilizing or reducing energy consumption by 2050.
“The results of the report pose a major challenge for the global community: finding new solutions for the efficient use of energy. If we tackle this challenge properly, it is a major opportunity for us,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Developing energy-efficient products not only gives us an innovative edge, it also helps protect the environment and makes life more comfortable. Moreover, such products save consumers money.”
Developing energy-efficient products that conserve resources has long been a central part of Bosch strategy. Today, the company generates around 40 percent of its sales with such technologies – among them power-generating fuel-cell heating systems, fuel-efficient gasoline direct injection, and clothes dryers that use even less energy that the A+++ standard. What is more, the company has committed to reducing its own CO2 emissions by 20 percent over 2007 levels by 2020. As early as 2013, Bosch’s relative CO2 emissions were 16 percent lower than in the reference year.
More information on energy efficiency at Bosch can be found here
Online tool from Bosch helps optimize the energy balance in buildings.
Enough energy to power 400 single-family detached homes. Joint venture operates giant battery.
In future, a battery the size of a small sports hall will store the energy generated by the community wind farm in Braderup in northern Germany. Less energy will therefore be lost when power grids on the coast are overburdened and unable to transmit electricity. Large batteries are also useful when more energy is being produced than is needed at the time. They store energy and release it later – for example, during periods of calm winds or high demand. To realize this project, Robert Bosch GmbH and the community wind park run by BWP Braderup-Tinningstedt GmbH & Co. KG agreed on February 4, 2013 to form the company Energiespeicher Nord GmbH & Co. KG with the aim of building and operating a giant battery.
“The project is a milestone on the way to a future powered by renewable energies. We expect to gain many new insights into how batteries can help stabilize power grids. Batteries play a key role in ensuring energy supplies on days with little wind or sun,” says Cordelia Thielitz, Bosch project manager and member of the board of management of the new company.
Enough energy to power 400 single-family detached homes for one day
Braderup is just a few kilometers from Sylt and the North Sea coast. Due to the rapid expansion of wind power, grids in northern Germany are often overburdened. Individual wind farms then have to be removed from the grid – and the wind power remains unused. To prevent these losses, in addition to the six wind turbines planned by the community wind farm in Braderup Bosch will build and operate the new megawatt battery system and integrate it into the power grid.
The battery can deliver one megawatt of power for four hours. In other words, it has a capacity of four megawatt hours, enough to power around 400 single-family detached homes for one whole day.
The giant battery will be housed in a building with almost 600 square meters of floor space. There are also plans to install a photovoltaic system on the roof to harness additional energy. If everything goes to plan, the wind turbines will be up and running by July 2013 and the battery by December. The wind farm will be connected to the power grid of E.ON Hanse.
Power – even with no wind
Jan Martin Hansen, fellow member of the board of management of Energiespeicher Nord GmbH & Co. KG alongside Cordelia Thielitz, explains: “Once the battery is installed, we can offer renewable energies even when the wind is not blowing. Our community wind farm therefore solves an important problem. This makes us a reliable partner that can ensure a constant supply of renewably generated electricity.” Hansen is a farmer in Braderup, which has a population of 700. The new wind farm will provide an additional source of income for the rural region.
The new company will operate and manage the battery system that will store the energy from the planned six wind turbines (3.3 megawatts each). The technology and services company Bosch is developing the control electronics, is responsible for systems integration, and is testing different operating variants in Braderup. These include trading on the power exchange and stabilizing the power grid. These tests aim to validate the technical and financial benefits of the battery and provide valuable insights for new commercial projects.
By offering greater flexibility, such storage systems promote the more efficient use of renewable energies. Biogas or solar systems and co-generation plants can also store generated energy in the same way. The initiators of the wind farm benefit, among other things, from higher revenues.
Background: Overburdened power grids and climate protection
Energiespeicher Nord GmbH & Co. KG was formed against the backdrop of rising demand for energy around the globe. We are also experiencing fundamental changes in energy supply – moving away from large power plants that burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas toward renewable energies. However, the supply of renewable energies fluctuates constantly with the wind or sun. The German government expects renewable energies to account for around 20 percent of total energy consumption by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030.
Fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil are increasingly being replaced by renewable energies – this reduces CO2 emissions and promotes climate protection. Batteries can reduce the strain on overburdened power grids and are therefore an important part of state-of-the-art and sustainable energy systems.