The chemical industry is one of the most energy-intensive sectors. WACKER’s sites in Germany consumed 3,976 GWh of electricity in 2018 (2017: 3,946 GWh), representing approximately 0.8 percent of the country’s electricity consumption. WACKER’s German production sites account for over 70 percent of groupwide electricity needs.

WACKER is continually improving the energy efficiency of its processes. This enables us to remain globally competitive while at the same time contributing to climate protection.


Electricity Supply 2018

Electricity Supply 2018 (pie chart)
1 Outside Germany, we purchase electricity from third parties based on the local standard energy mix.
2 Burghausen

Many chemical reactions generate heat that can be put to use in other production processes. In addition to recovering heat from such chemical reactions, we have been using integrated heat-recovery systems in Burghausen and Nünchritz for years and are continually improving and expanding them. In this way, we can reduce the amount of (natural gas) consumed by our power plants.

Electricity Supply 2018

1 Outside Germany, we purchase electricity from third parties based on the local standard energy mix.
2 Burghausen

To enhance energy efficiency and reduce specific energy consumption (amount of energy per unit of net production output), the Executive Board has defined energy targets.

  • We have set a goal of reducing specific energy consumption in Germany by 2022 to one-half of the 2007 level.
  • In 2018, we introduced a global energy goal: we want to cut our global specific energy consumption by 50 percent between 2007 and 2030.
Energy Consumption























Coal, charcoal and wood; used as reducing agents at the silicon-metal plant in Holla, Norway


Steam, district heating

Electricity consumption







Heat consumption







Primary energy use (total)







of which







Natural gas







Solid fuels1







Heat (supplied by third parties)2







Our primary source of energy is climate-friendly natural gas. At Burghausen, our largest site, we produce steam and electricity using a cogeneration system. The highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plant operates at more than 85-percent fuel efficiency, which is significantly higher than that of conventional power plants.

Additionally, Burghausen uses hydropower to generate electricity. At our Norwegian site in Holla, electricity comes mainly from hydropower.

At our site in Jincheon, South Korea, we installed solar modules on the roofs of factory buildings during the summer of 2018 and are now generating solar power there. Jincheon generated 364 MWh in the second half of 2018, which was fed entirely into the public grid. This amount is equivalent to about 15 percent of the site’s total electricity consumption. WACKER is checking whether it will be possible to use all or part of this electricity that has been generated in a climate-neutral manner to power our own facilities. We made preparations at our site in Allentown, USA, for a photovoltaic system to go on stream in February 2019.

In 2018, we adopted energy-efficiency measures to further reduce specific energy consumption. These involved enhancing the heat-recovery processes and integrated systems used in our production plants.

Our German power plants – the hydroelectric and CHP plants in Burghausen and the cogeneration plant in Nünchritz – produced 1,431 GWh of electricity in 2018 (2017: 1,481 GWh), meaning that WACKER covered about 36 percent of its total energy requirements in Germany from its own production. Groupwide, emissions from captive power plants subject to emissions trading rules and from -metal production in Holla (Norway) totaled about 1.0 million metric tons in 2018 (2017: 1.0 million metric tons).

WACKER is subject to the regulations of the EU emissions trading system because of its power plants at the Burghausen and Nünchritz sites. We have covered shortfalls since 2014 by buying allowances for facilities subject to emissions trading.

Saving Energy with WOS

In the period under review, we again improved our energy efficiency with the help of projects that form part of our (Wacker Operating System) program.

  • The largest individual measure was the replacement of an air compressor at the Burghausen site’s utility supply unit with a system that is some 20 percent more energy efficient.
  • At WACKER facilities in Burg­hausen and Nünchritz, among other things, we optimized the cooling of flanges that serve as connectors, e.g. for pipes and equipment. This has allowed us to save on steam and thus improve heat recovery and energy efficiency.

Hydroelectric Power

The Burghausen site has been supplied with electricity from Wacker Chemie AG’s “Alzwerke” hydroelectric facility for almost a century (webpage available in German only). Average annual production is 265 GWh.

From 1922 to 2018, this power station generated more than 23,700 GWh of electricity. (As a comparison: this is equivalent to 13 million times the average electricity consumption per capita, which is around 1,770 kWh per year in Germany; link available in German only.) The Alz canal between Hirten on the Alz river and Burghausen on the Salzach river made it possible to harness the water – which plunges 63 meters into the turbines – for a hydroelectric power plant on the banks of the Salzach. The electricity generated by the Alzwerke plant was the key prerequisite for the chemical industry to settle in Burghausen.

Over the past decades, the hydroelectric facility has continuously increased its energy yield and annual availability. As well as for electricity supply, the water is used as cooling and process water and as an emergency power supply at the Burghausen site.

Primary Energy
Primary energy is obtained from naturally occurring sources such as coal, gas or wind. Secondary energy, in contrast, is derived from primary energy via a transformation process (which often involves energy losses); examples include electricity, heat and hydrogen.
Carbon Dioxide
Chemical name: CO2. This gas naturally constitutes 0.04% of air. Carbon dioxide is generated during the combustion of coal, natural gas and other organic substances. As a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, it contributes to global warming. Since the start of industrialization in 1850, its concentration in air has risen from approx. 300 to 390 ppm (parts per million). This value is increasing by around 2 ppm every year. Other greenhouse gases are represented as CO2 equivalents (CO2e) based on their greenhouse effect.
After oxygen, silicon is the most common element on the earth’s crust. In nature, it occurs without exception in the form of compounds, chiefly silicon dioxide and silicates. Silicon is obtained through energy-intensive reaction of quartz sand with carbon and is the most important raw material in the electronics industry.
Substance outputs, noise, vibrations, light, heat or radiation emitted into the environment by an industrial plant.
Wacker Operating System (WOS)
The “Wacker Operating System” (WOS) program bundles, promotes and processes corporate projects for systematic process improvement. It is the basis for a groupwide improvement initiative by WACKER.
Hyperpure polycrystalline silicon from WACKER POLYSILICON is used for manufacturing wafers for the electronics and solar industries. To produce it, metallurgical-grade silicon is converted into liquid trichlorosilane, highly distilled and deposited in hyperpure form at 1,000 °C.