Geerd Smidt

Pho­to­vol­taics as part of our sus­taina­bi­li­ty strategy

Sus­taina­bi­li­ty is a key prio­ri­ty for Klasmann-Deilmann, and the com­pa­ny is con­ti­nuous­ly working on impro­ving its car­bon foot­print. The pho­to­vol­taic instal­la­ti­on on the roof of one of the pro­duc­tion buil­dings in Groß Hese­pe con­tri­bu­tes to this goal. In the past year, it gene­ra­ted more than 136,000 kilo­watt hours of electri­ci­ty. This is suf­fi­ci­ent to sup­ply around 40 homes with power and redu­ces CO2 emis­si­ons by more than 80 tonnes.

The company’s own pho­to­vol­taic sys­tem, which is a fur­ther com­po­nent of Klasmann-Deilmann’s stra­te­gy for grea­ter sus­taina­bi­li­ty, was instal­led in 2010. Assuming stan­dard test con­di­ti­ons – i.e. a solar-cell tem­pe­ra­tu­re of 25 degrees Cel­si­us, light inten­si­ty (irra­di­an­ce) of 1,000 watts per squa­re met­re and an air mass 1.5 stan­dard sun­light spec­trum – it has a rated out­put of 135 kilo­watts. Last year, the instal­la­ti­on fed exact­ly 136,518 kilo­watt hours of electri­cal ener­gy into the public power grid: a con­si­derable incre­a­se year-on-year due to the hig­her num­ber of sun hours in 2015. The sys­tem deli­ve­r­ed around 135,000 kilo­watt hours of electri­ci­ty in 2014 and, as Chris­ti­an Nien­hus­mei­er of the Tech­no­lo­gy & Pro­cu­re­ment divi­si­on comments, “Even that was qui­te a lot at the­se latitudes.”

With sus­taina­bi­li­ty in mind, the sub­stra­te pro­du­cer also runs short-rota­ti­on fores­try plan­ta­ti­ons and enab­les its trai­nees to attend the Cli­ma­te Pilot semi­nar. Sin­ce 2011, Klasmann-Deilmann has publis­hed an annu­al Sus­taina­bi­li­ty Report. At the end of last year, the firm laun­ched the world’s big­gest peat moss (Spha­gnum) far­ming pro­ject. In Sedels­berg, Klasmann-Deilmann’s first wood­chip hea­ting sys­tem has been pro­vi­ding heat sin­ce ear­ly 2013. Other such faci­li­ties are in use in Lit­hua­nia and Lat­via, and a fourth is to be added during the con­struc­tion of a new admi­nis­tra­ti­ve buil­ding at com­pa­ny head­quar­ters in Groß Hese­pe, which is due for com­ple­ti­on in 2017.

All Klasmann-Deilmann sites are sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly asses­sed for ener­gy con­sump­ti­on on a regu­lar basis, as Ener­gy Tech­no­lo­gy pro­ject lea­der Nien­hus­mei­er affirms. “Buil­ding tech­no­lo­gy, gas, oil, hea­ting, com­pres­sed air, ligh­t­ing – ever­ything is put under the micro­scope and is, as far as pos­si­ble, optimised.”

Scope for ener­gy saving is also being inves­ti­ga­ted in the pro­duc­tion pro­cess. Even befo­re it was requi­red to do so by law, Klasmann-Deilmann employ­ed more effi­ci­ent motors in machine­ry and trai­ned ope­ra­tors in ener­gy-effi­ci­ent use. “We always keep our eyes open and ears tun­ed: as soon as a new tech­no­lo­gy is ful­ly deve­lo­ped and we can see poten­ti­al for impro­ve­ment, we move to imple­men­ta­ti­on,” says Nien­hus­mei­er. And, with a glance at the pho­to­vol­taic instal­la­ti­on, he adds: “Let’s wait and see how sun­ny 2016 pro­ves to be!”