Kassel. As Managing Director, Dr. Frank Voßloh has been head of Sales at Viessmann Deutschland GmbH in Allendorf, in the German state of Hesse, for around five years. In an interview he provides an insight into how the mid-sized company is driving forward the energy transition in the boiler room.
The costs for the energy transition keep on rising. That’s a burden not only on private citizens, but also on companies. How can companies meet this challenge?
Starting from the mid-2000s, the Viessmann Group reviewed all its processes, in particular in manufacturing, increased energy efficiency, replaced fossil fuels with renewable energy sources, and switched to “green energy” from German hydroelectric power. As a result, we thus managed at our corporate headquarters in Allendorf (Eder) to meet the energy and climate policy targets that Germany set itself for 2050 as early as 2012, and reduced CO2 emissions, for example, by 80 percent in the process. The costs of this “Efficiency Plus” project, which we implemented as part of our sustainability strategy, amount to more than 200 million euros, although we have already achieved payback in the form of avoided energy purchases.
What, in your view, is the most efficient option for driving the energy transition in the boiler room at home?
The fact is that over two thirds of the 21 million heat generators installed in Germany are completely outdated and waste energy unnecessarily. Our aim is to clear the renovation backlog in the boiler room. If we could leverage this efficiency potential, we could theoretically save as much energy as all the German nuclear power plants produce together. With our comprehensive product range for all sources of energy and all types of application, we offer tailored solutions to anyone running such a system.
Germany aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 80 percent by 2050. What role will conventional energies still play then?
The significance of conventional energies will have to decline if we are to meet the ambitious political climate targets. However, due to its low CO2 emissions compared with coal and oil, natural gas is certainly in the best position to remain with us for a long time to come. Our Vitovalor 300-P fuel cell heater, which produces heat and power at the same time, shows that even appliances based on natural gas are highly innovative and that the potential of new technologies is far from exhausted.
Your company, the Viessmann Group, and WINGAS GmbH signed a sales and marketing cooperation agreement at E-world in Essen at the beginning of 2017. What does Viessmann hope to achieve through this partnership, and what are its specific objectives?
The aim of our cooperation is to reinforce the perception of natural gas as a source of energy among the general public. Natural gas is of key importance, particularly in the building sector, since it is used by two out of three heat generators. Working together, we will therefore exploit sales synergies to also target customers in the commercial and industrial sector. And, of course, we also want to continue to convince private customers of the future potential of the fuel for the heating market. In particular, we have also started to jointly support external projects in the new buildings sector and to promote innovative natural gas technology in existing buildings. Financial subsidies are available for this purpose, a wide range of contracting schemes and additional extended warranties, e.g. for futuristic fuel cells for the combined production of heat and power.