Zero hour: EnBW boss Frank Mastiaux explains how he wants to achieve climate change

“The Zero Hour”
“Ambitious, but feasible”: How EnBW boss Mastiaux wants to create the climate change

Frank Mastiaux is CEO of EnBW, the third largest energy company in Germany

© Uwe Anspach / DPA

Robert Habeck wants to significantly increase the pace of climate protection. EnBW boss Frank Mastiaux takes the same line: The conversion of the energy supply is ambitious, but necessary and solvable – everything just has to go three to four times as fast.

We have to be three times faster – this was the key message sent by Economics Minister Robert Habeck this week when he presented his immediate climate protection program and spoke of a “gigantic task”. Much more electricity is needed just to electrify millions of cars, heating systems and industry.

But can we also meet this need? EnBW boss Frank Mastiuax considers the climate targets of the new government to be ambitious, but doable. “Yes, we can do that,” he said in the podcast “Zero Hour” about the increasing demand for electricity. But you shouldn’t put everything on one card. “For example, it is not enough to just expand renewable energies or keep the grids stable. The overall concept must be properly developed.”

Mastiaux relies on gas power plants

This includes, for example, the construction of gas-fired power plants. “We need a relatively large fleet of gas-fired power plants for the transition phase.” You need their power “at the push of a button” in times of calm wind and darkness, “in order to be able to provide the required amount of energy around the clock safely and reliably”. The EnBW boss assumes at least 20 gigawatts, which would be around 40 systems.

Mastiaux, who has been at the head of Germany’s third-largest electricity company since 2012, calculated the electricity requirements using the example of e-cars: “One million electric cars change the electricity requirement by half a percent. That sounds like little. With 15 million electric cars that are now being used for are planned for 2030, we already have an additional requirement of between five and ten percent. That is ambitious, but doable.”

From the point of view of the EnBW boss, this requires a far-reaching cultural change. “It’s about a significant change in the way we manage projects in Germany,” he said. Above all, the administration is not prepared for the size of this transformation. “We have enough space, we have the experts, and we as an industry can implement these projects.” Everything just has to go “three to four times as fast”. For an onshore wind project, for example, it takes an average of 70 months and you have to submit 18,000 pages of paper. At sea, “a large offshore wind farm has to be put into operation every four months on average”.

Listen in the new episode of “Zero Hour”:

  • Whether the risk of blackouts is increasing in Germany
  • How EnBW organizes the dismantling of a nuclear power plant
  • Why Mastiaux left EnBW-Spitz in the fall after ten years

All episodes can be found directly at AudioNow, Apple or Spotify or via Google.

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