German luxury vehicle manufacturer BMW has begun sourcing aluminium produced using power generated by the 1GW Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the United Arab Emirates.
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) announced back in mid-January that the Mohammed bin Rashid solar park had begun powering the production of aluminium, a world first and a significant milestone for the decarbonisation of the global manufacturing industry.
It says 560,000 megawatt-hours of power will be supplied each year to EGA’s aluminium smelter, sufficient for the production of 40,000 tonnes of aluminium.
Not long after DEWA and EGA announced their “CelestiAL” solar aluminium, BMW announced it was jumping on board and sourcing 43,000 tonnes of solar aluminium, enough to supply nearly half the annual requirements of the company’s light metal foundry at Plant Landshut.
Part of BMW’s larger plan to reduce the company’s CO2 emissions across its supplier network by 20% by 2030, the new solar-powered aluminium is expected to help BMW avoid 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next ten years.
By sourcing solar-powered aluminium, BMW is helping to support a significant reduction in aluminium production emissionsas the electricity needed to produce primary aluminium accounts for approximately 60% of the global aluminium industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“We aspire to lead the way in sustainability and implement our sustainability goals in a systematic manner,” said Dr. Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network.
“We will be able to meet over 50% of our CO2 targets for the supplier network, just by using green power. The use of solar electricity for producing aluminium is a major step in this direction.”
BMW’s Plant Landshut is the company’s largest component plant and supplies components to all BMW Group vehicle and engine plants worldwide, and therefore for virtually every BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce vehicle – including components necessary for electric drivetrains.
The move to source solar-powered aluminium comes after BMW Group already announced that suppliers for its current fifth-generation battery cells had agreed to only use green power for producing the necessary battery cells.
This is part of BMW’s efforts to reduce emissions for producing battery cells and aluminium – the more energy intensive stages of production – and reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle by 20% from 2019 levels.
The solar power sourced from the 1GW Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the desert outside of Dubai is sourced through the Dubai electricity grid and tracked and traced through the use of the International Renewable Energy Certification System.