Note 14: Energy

Energy use

Energy is important for all our operations, especially some of our Specialty Chemicals businesses, because they use energy as a major raw material for their products. Energy efficiency and carbon efficient energy use are therefore important metrics for our operations.

Energy use in 1000*TJ

Energy use in 1000*TJ (bar chart)

Energy use [TJ] is the sum of fuels, electricity, steam, hot water and other utilities (expressed as fuel equivalents).

  • Energy use per ton of production reduced slightly to 5.6 GJ/ton. Absolute energy use was down 7 percent to 99,000 TJ in line with lower production volumes
  • The total costs of energy used in our production was about €0.6 billion
  • The indicative monetary value of the energy savings is €20 million
  • Total energy consumption for Specialty Chemicals was 92,000 TJ; Performance Coatings 5,000 TJ and for Decorative Paints 2,000 TJ
  • More details about the energy sources can be found on our website

We use energy scans to identify savings opportunities in all our Business Areas. During 2013, a series of scans was carried out, and the outcomes are being, or will be, implemented. For example:

  • In Stenungsund, Sweden, energy was saved by optimizing the distillation section, resulting in a significant reduction of energy, over 10,000 tons less CO2 and more than €3 million in savings
  • In Ibbenbüren, Germany, a new burner now allows us to use hydrogen (which was flared) as fuel for the production of steam, instead of natural gas
  • In Barcelona, a boiler for hot oil was upgraded with better control and heat recovery, resulting in an energy reduction of 15 percent and a cost reduction of €26,000
  • In Arnsberg, an innovative new chiller has reduced energy use for cooling by more than 40 percent, and costs by €80,000

Renewable energy

Renewable energy is an important aspect of the improvements required to achieve our 2020 strategy carbon footprint reduction. Our businesses have set themselves ambitious targets to increase the share of renewable electricity and heat used in our operations – equivalent to 45 percent renewable energy for AkzoNobel, a substantial increase from the 2012 level of 33 percent. In 2013, 36 percent of the electricity and 12 percent of the heat used on our sites came from renewable sources. This is equivalent to 31 percent renewable energy, a drop from 2012 due to a change in some supply contracts.

Total energy in % by source

Total energy by source (pie chart)

Our Renewable Energy Supply Strategy has three focus areas: protecting our current renewable share, participating in cost effective, large energy ventures, and exploring commercially feasible on-site renewable energy generation. Specific projects in progress include:

  • Investment in wind power in the Nordics as part-owner of the VindIn consortium. Vindln already has 35 wind turbines in operation, with many more to come over the next couple of years (1,000 GWh targeted annually)
  • A long-term power purchase agreement with the largest and most efficient biomass power plant in the Benelux region
  • A custom-built, two-kilometer long pipeline providing steam from a waste-to-energy plant to AkzoNobel’s salt site in Hengelo, the Netherlands