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    The biggest solar park in the Krones world

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    01. July 2024
    2:25 min.
    Carbon footprint drastically reduced: A new energy concept is cutting the emissions from the Debrecen plant to around 100 tonnes a year.
    • The solar park next to the factory building covers around 6,200 square metres.

    The photovoltaic system has been officially opened, the geothermal system is just around the corner: By as early as 2025, Debrecen will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions it generates by more than 80 percent – the first plant in the Group to do so, and five years ahead of the deadline in the Krones climate strategy.

    With more than 2,600 solar panels spread over a total area of some 6,200 square metres, Krones Hungary has just brought the biggest photovoltaic system of the Krones Group into operation. Outputting 1,200 kilowatt peak, it will deliver more than one third of the annual energy demand that is consumed on the site. 

    The opening ceremony on 6 May was attended by László Papp, mayor of Debrecen, and his deputy, Dr. Lajos Barcsa, as well as representatives of the regional press. The pair expressed themselves more than impressed by the climate protection measures both here on site and everywhere in the Group. The town of Debrecen was committed to building its economic growth on a sustainable foundation, mayor Papp stated. With the investment already made and its 2040 net zero target, Krones had set an important example, he added.


    Cooling and heating without gas

    The plant’s own CO2 emissions, in technical jargon emissions from scopes 1 and 2, amounted to around 1,550 tonnes in 2021. Operation of the photovoltaic system alone will save 680 of them. Once the second part of the large-scale sustainable energy supply project has been completed, more than that amount again will be saved. That's because the Debrecen plant will also be bringing a geothermal system on stream to cover its heating and cooling demand. To that end 204 probes have been dug to a depth of 120 metres directly beneath the PV field and three heat pumps have been installed. Construction work in the production buildings, where more than 120 thermal units and fans will be installed, is still in progress. The system is set to be commissioned by the end of July, which means it can be used to cool the offices and production facilities right in time for the start of high summer. In winter, the system will in turn supply enough energy to heat the whole site without the need for gas.

    Between them, the photovoltaic and geothermal systems will cover 80 to 90 percent of the daily energy required. That will push the site’s own emissions down to around 100 tonnes a year.

    Net zero by 2040

    Continuing our existing climate strategy, the full Executive Board of Krones adopted a net zero emissions target at the beginning of April. This is based on the standard of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a recognised climate protection organisation.

    According to this, by 2040 our Group must

    • save 90 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions 
    • and neutralise the remaining 10 percent. 

    This includes the emissions of the entire value chain, that is from scopes 1 to 3. The basis is the year 2019. The net zero target has already been submitted to SBTi, with final validation expected by autumn 2024.

    01. July 2024
    2:25 min.

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