Towards zero emissions

Audi Hungary becomes the brand’s second, carbon-neutral plant.

Audi opens Europe’s largest largest photovoltaic roof installation, and its Győr plant joins Audi Brussels as carbon-neutral.

13 October, 2020

Its massive photovoltaic roof installation covers an area of approximately 160,000 square metres

Audi continues to pursue its goal of having all of its global sites become carbon-neutral by 2025, with its Győr plant in Hungary joining Audi Brussels as a completely carbon-neutral site. With the opening of Europe’s largest photovoltaic roof installation, the Győr site takes the next step that started with the installation of its geothermal facility opened in 2012, which supplied the bulk of its heat requirements with the remainder compensated by bio-gas certificates. 

“By converting our factories to renewable energy, we are making an important contribution to counteracting climate change,” says Peter Kössler, board member for production at Audi. 

In 2019 alone, Audi Hungary saved more than 18,000 megawatt-hours of energy and avoided CO2 emissions amounting to almost 5,750 tonnes thanks to the combined efforts of its numerous efficiency measures. 

Its massive photovoltaic roof installation, built in co-operation with E.ON Hungaria, has been installed on the roofs of the plant’s two logistics centres and covers an area of approximately 160,000 square metres, consists of 36,400 solar cells and provides a maximum performance of 12 megawatts. 

“This project represents in many ways what’s needed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” says Karten Wildberger, Member of the Boaord of Management, E.ON.

“To do so, we need to rebuild the energy systems in urban areas and in the industry towards CO2-neutral systems. I consider the project with our partner Audi to be an important step in our endeavour to create the sustainable energy world of tomorrow and hope that it will be followed by further projects of this kind.” 

Of course the Győr site’s geothermal system has been operational since 2012 and continues to provide 70 percent of its heating with the remaining heat generated through natural gas, with carbon neutrality assured thanks to bio-gas certificates. Audi Hungary is the biggest user of industrial geothermal energy in Hungary. The plant has an annual output of at least 82,000 megawatt-hours of thermal energy annually and since 2015 has made use of 250 gigawatt-hours of geothermal energy, reducing emissions of CO2 by 50,000 tonnes. 

Carbon emissions that are currently unavoidable, for example those from the engine testing facilities, are compensated by Audi Hungary through internationally recognised and certified carbon credits. 

In addition to Audi Hungary now becoming carbon-neutral, Audi continues to reduce its ecological footprint in a raft of other ways across the board, continuing to use largely carbon-neutral rail transport, with the ‘green train’ transporting finished vehicles between Ingolstadt and the North Sea loading port of Emden since 2012 – this alone saving 13,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

In Australia too, in conjunction with the local launch of the all-electric Audi e-tron recently, Audi Australia announced its commitment to 100 percent renewable energy from next year, mirroring Audi’s overarching goal for the entire company.

Of course the Győr site’s geothermal system has been operational since 2012 and continues to provide 70 percent of its heating