100% renewable beer, Heineken’s challenge

Renewable energy / Reason why

A milestone of brewing beer in Spain solely with 100% renewable energy, thanks to the inauguration of the world’s largest solar thermal plant for industrial use in its category by Heineken in Valencia.

Heineken, in collaboration with the Valencian company CSIN (Compañía Solatom Indertec), has launched this cutting-edge facility, marking a significant step forward in Heineken’s ambitious aim to achieve 100% renewable energy usage in production by 2025 in Spain, and reaching net-zero emissions across its global value chain by 2040.

This new solar thermal plant is set to play a crucial role in Heineken’s pursuit of sustainable brewing, with expectations to prevent the emission of nearly 1,300 tonnes of CO2e annually. Once operating at full capacity by the end of 2024, the Valencian brewery anticipates running on 42% renewable energy, encompassing both electrical and thermal sources.

Carmen Ponce, Director of Corporate Affairs at Heineken Spain, affirmed the company’s commitment to renewable energy, citing recent achievements such as the inauguration of two solar thermal plants within six months, one in Seville and now in Valencia. Ponce emphasised Heineken’s dedication to local innovation to drive economic competitiveness and inspire industry-wide decarbonisation efforts.

A big project

The development of this solar thermal plant has not only created over 160 jobs but has also engaged 63 Spanish companies, showcasing a commitment to local partnerships and economic growth. With 83% of components locally sourced, including the groundbreaking Fresnel technology, the plant stands as a testament to sustainable industrial innovation.

Occupying a solar field with 6,000 m² of mirrors and 182 Fresnel modules, the installation in Quart de Poblet boasts a peak thermal output of 4 MW, fulfilling 10% of the factory’s steam demand. With 1.5 MWh storage capacity, the plant can effectively store excess energy, further enhancing its efficiency.

The future

As Heineken continues to make significant strides towards its goal of 100% renewable energy usage in brewing by 2025, the company remains steadfast in its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions throughout its global operations by 2040. Through innovative projects like the solar thermal plants in Seville and Valencia, Heineken not only reduces emissions but also contributes to regional development and the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

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Written by

Marina Lorente

A Spanish woman who has returned to her motherland after 6 years living in London. She is passionate about nature, animals and yoga.