"We generate around 9 terawatt hours of electricity in our 17 hydropower plants in Norway, but we need significantly more for our aluminum companies there and have to buy a lot of electricity there," said Irmtraud Pawlik, spokeswoman for the Hydro Aluminum Germany management.
That means: A sensible solution for the Rheinwerk can only come if politics and the electricity industry in Germany show cooperation and help in the acute crisis.
"In Italy, France and Spain, industries that use a lot of electricity have long had much cheaper special tariffs because the sensible economic performance of aluminum smelters, for example, is recognized much more than we have so far," says the head of the Rheinwerk, Bernhard Eich.
The Rheinwerk also has a lot to offer. For example:
- as a large electricity customer . In order to sell a similar amount of electricity to Neusser Hütte - around 3.4 terawatt hours - to private households and small businesses, the respective electricity supplier has to do a lot more work: hundreds of thousands of bills, electricity meters, service, marketing, maintenance and controls.
- as a major customer with secure, even acceptance . While most electricity customers switch ´times on, ´times off, the aluminum smelter consumes the same base load electricity 365 days a year, around the clock and can plan any changes with their supplier long in advance. So the supplier has a much easier business.
- as an emergency helper for the power grid . The aluminum smelter can sometimes go offline, even for a few hours, if the German power grid is in need. Hydro can take its stoves off the grid within seconds. This can be compensated for if too little irregular electricity is fed in, for example from wind or solar power, or if all of Germany suddenly consumes a lot of electricity. Even in worse cases: When the river crossing of a large cruise ship in Emsland caused failures in November 2006, aluminum producers helped to avert a breakdown of the power grid in a matter of seconds.
This is how Hydro's Rheinwerk produces the energy-saving material aluminum, offers itself as a major cooperative customer and is available as an emergency helper for the German power grid. & nbsp;