Increasingly, we help industrial enterprises and utilities decarbonize as well. Our underground gas storage facilities ensure a reliable supply of gas, even during demand spikes. In addition, we’re playing a pioneering role in establishing Europe’s hydrogen economy and plan to develop a sizable renewables business.
Reliability on the road to carbon neutrality
We operate roughly 22.5 GW of generating capacity in Europe, ranking us among the world’s largest power producers.
Our ambition is to combine reliability with sustainability. That’s why we’re closing coal-fired power plants, converting some sites to gas. It’s all part of our commitment to making our power generation business in Europe carbon-neutral by 2035.
Megawatts that multitask
Megawatts that multitask
Like mentally agile people, our power plants can do several things at once. Alongside generating electricity our thermal power plants make a range of by-products for companies and communities nearby. And our gas and hydro plants provide services that help grid operators keep the electricity supply stable.
- By-products for industry and homes. The by-products of thermal power generation — steam, heat, cooling, deionized water, and compressed air — are inputs for production processes. Getting them directly from us saves nearby industrial enterprises money. And it reduces their carbon footprint, since no additional fuel has to be consumed to make them. Steam from some of our plants is also piped into district heating networks to keep homes warm.
- Grid sustainability services. Renewables are clean but capricious. So grid operators need power plants that can balance out the fluctuations in renewables production. Our gas and hydro plants, which can swiftly adjust their output, are ideal for this role. Our gas plants can also perform other tricks that renewables can’t: some can provide grid inertia and reactive power to maintain uniform frequency, while others can reboot the grid after an outage. As renewables grow, so too will the need for our power plants to generate energy even more flexibly.
Global energy trading
Sourcing energy worldwide
Uniper trades a broad range of energy commodities throughout Europe, North America, and Asia. As energy commodity markets become increasingly interconnected, understanding global developments that impact energy commodity supply chains is a critical part of our business. Our energy commodity trading business optimizes and dispatches our generation assets, guides our gas business (transport, storage, and wholesale marketing), and manages risk. And it helps to ensure that the supply of energy remains secure for our customers and business partners in the markets in which we operate.
A trusted partner amid fundamental market change
Our energy sales business offers large customers — industrial enterprises and utilities — an individually tailored supply of bulk power, gas, and heat. We also provide them with comprehensive market reporting and analysis to assist in managing their energy portfolios. In addition, Uniper Digital gives customers a user-friendly platform for purchasing energy online.
The sustainability ambitions of our customers — particularly those in the utility, automotive, food, and high-tech industries — are increasing. As a result, the demand for certified green power products continues to grow. Our 3.8 GW of hydro capacity give us an abundant source of clean energy to meet this demand.
Examples of our green power products include Aqua Power (a TÜV-certified hydro product sold to municipal utilities near our hydro plants in Germany) and Nordic Guarantees of Origin (backed by our hydro fleet in Sweden).
Critical infrastructure for a low-carbon world
Uniper owns and operates about 8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of underground gas storage capacity in Germany, Austria, and Britain. We have 5.9 bcm in Germany alone, the most of any operator.
Gas storage is currently the only large-scale, trans-seasonal storage option: gas bought in the summer (when prices are typically lower) can be stored to heat homes in the winter. Storage facilities can also respond to demand spikes or import interruptions to keep gas supplies reliable.
The gas we store will get steadily greener. Uniper is a pioneer in producing green hydrogen and green methane. The EU aims to build 6 GW of green hydrogen production capacity by 2024. Our underground facilities will be part of the infrastructure that stores this precious zero-carbon output.
The key to decarbonizing industry
Low- and zero-carbon hydrogen can make Europe’s energy transition possible. It can power vehicles, locomotives, and ships. It can be injected into the gas network and subsequently used to generate electricity and heat homes. Finally, it can be combined with captured carbon dioxide to produce climate-neutral chemicals and green diesel and jet fuel.
This is the real game changer. Because it’s the only way to put high-emission industries — like chemicals and steel — on a realistic path to carbon neutrality. Uniper is a hydrogen pacesetter. Our two power-to-gas plants in northern Germany have shown how surplus wind power can be used to produce zero-carbon hydrogen.
We’re also collaborating with other companies to enable a Europe-wide hydrogen market ramp-up.
Adding wind and solar to our mix
Zero-carbon hydro and nuclear already account for 20% of our installed capacity in Europe. Power-purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewables developers give us access to more green power. Under a PPA, we agree to buy a percentage of a renewables project’s future output for a set period, typically 10 or 15 years.
We have PPAs with wind and solar farms in Europe and North America and intend to conclude many more. This will give us access to the value created during the development and construction phases.
This value can be monetized by selling completed assets to investors or internalized by keeping them. We aim to develop a wind and solar portfolio of around 1.5 to 2 GW by 2025 and, over time, to grow this business into a meaningful earnings contributor.
Green solutions for industry and utilities
Propelling customers’ decarbonization journeys
Decarbonization is here to stay. Companies of all sizes in all industries want their energy supply and operations to be sustainable. They’re impelled by the need to cut costs, mitigate reputational risks, and comply with increasingly stringent regulations.
Our ambition is to become the go-to partner for decarbonization solutions for industrial enterprises and municipal utilities. We can provide them with certified green power and carbon offsets. We can help them convert their on-site energy production sites from coal to a lower-carbon fuel. We can also analyze their production processes and reduce their energy use. If customers wish, we can design a roadmap to guide them all the way to carbon neutrality.
Our objective is to empower the energy evolution: to work closely with customers and to accompany them — as an experienced adviser — on their decarbonization journey.