News Release from JUWI GmbH


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Windfair.net interview with JUWI Managing Director Christian Arnold

Windfair.net met Christian Arnold, managing director for the operative German business at project developer JUWI, to talk about renewables, hybrid plants and aspects of the new German EEG.

JUWI Managing Director Christian Arnold; Source: JUWIJUWI Managing Director Christian Arnold; Source: JUWI

The current energy crisis has once again caused the acceptance of renewable energies to skyrocket. Are you noticing any of this yet?

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has ruthlessly revealed that Germany has overslept the expansion of renewable energies over the past almost one and a half decades. All the more reason why we must now succeed in pulling the lever and massively accelerate the expansion. Fortunately not only the governing coalition but the overwhelming majority of citizens in this country as well hold this view. We are also feeling the increased support at project level. A lot has been set in motion here, which gives me a positive outlook for the coming years. What remains is that approval times are still too long. But this ball is in the politicians' court.

In recent months, the German government has taken various measures to speed up the expansion process. Are these measures sufficient? Or would you like to see more impetus?

Much of what has been initiated by the government and is still underway is going in the right direction. However, it is very regrettable that the draft bill on the electricity price brake no longer provides for an increase in the maximum values for onshore wind and ground-mounted PV projects for the EEG tenders in 2023. This passage was deleted unfortunately with the increase of it more urgent than ever: many wind on land projects did not even participate in the last tender rounds, although corresponding permits for these projects were available. The most obvious explanation, which we can also confirm from our own observations, is that the current maximum values are no longer sufficient to implement the projects due to the massive increase in prices for wind turbines (greater than 30%), increased interest rates (from 1% to 4%) and significantly increased operating costs, including for marketing. The legislature must act urgently here and raise the maximum values appropriately on the basis of the cost survey soon to be prepared by Deutsche WindGuard on behalf of the BMWK. Otherwise, we are threatened with a veritable expansion brake for 2023 - the year in which the expansion with more than 12,000 MW of tendered capacity should actually pick up speed again significantly.

JUWI has become increasingly active abroad in recent years. Why's that?

The supply of renewable energies is not a German special path, as some political corners still like to claim, but has long since become a global growth engine, as electricity from renewable energies is absolutely competitive. In particular, the cost of electricity from photovoltaics is simply unbeatable in many regions of the world. We are present in these markets and want to continue to participate and grow with our foreign subsidiaries, such as in Italy, where we recently acquired a smaller project developer, or in the US, South Africa and Southeast Asia, where we have continuously expanded our project pipeline in recent years. These foreign markets have always been an important pillar for JUWI and will remain so. 

Recently, your company has increasingly reported the construction of hybrid plants, e.g. to equip mines. Is this a new specialization of JUWI? Are such plants transferable to Germany?

The construction of large hybrid plants, i.e. the integration of wind and solar energy together with battery storage into an existing power plant park of energy-intensive and off-grid industries, such as the mining industry, is a field in which we have gained an excellent reputation among tier 1 and mid tier mining companies as an experienced project partner. We are proud of this. After all, the resource industry, on which all our prosperity depends, is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions. I am very pleased that with our solutions we can make a decisive contribution to significantly reduce emissions and, in perspective, driving them toward zero. 
However, the situation in Germany is not comparable to that in Australia or Africa. In our country, opencast mines also generally draw their energy from the grid. Isolated solutions such as those in Egypt, where we have implemented the world's largest hybrid project, are rare here. But of course every single one of our wind and solar projects helps to make grid power greener and more sustainable, so that here too, we can help shape the transformation in the raw materials sector.

Starting next year, the new German EEG will allow wind farm operators to pay municipalities directly for the first time. Is this an option for JUWI to increase acceptance?

In addition to the new energy policy reality, the paragraph six regulation of the EEG is certainly responsible for the very high approval ratings for renewable energies. Rural regions in particular have real financial added value as a result, which we naturally pass on to the local communites in our projects. This ensures greater acceptance. However, it is not the blanket solution for increasing local approval. Instead, in addition to transparent project communication, other forms of participation are needed here: from discounted green electricity tariffs to classic wind savings bonds to the operation of a citizen-owned mill. Where these are desired and feasible, we also offer this spectrum.


juwi, Christian Arnold, renewables, hybrid plant, energy crisis, expansion, wind energy, solar

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