Volkswagen to invest 1 billion euros in renewables: report

Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:42am EDT

The Volkswagen logo is seen on display at the New York International Auto Show in New York City, April 20, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar

The Volkswagen logo is seen on display at the New York International Auto Show in New York City, April 20, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - German carmaker Volkswagen will boost its planned commitment to renewable energy, investing almost 1 billion euros ($1.44 billion) in the production of environmentally friendly energy over two years, the Financial Times Deutschland reported.

This would be a substantial increase over the previous mid-term target of roughly 600 million euros Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, announced at the end of June.

The German business daily said on Friday that the company was looking to buy an interest in at least two offshore windparks in the process, and may announce by the end of the year it will form a partnership with windpark developer Windreich.

Volkswagen already has some exposure to wind energy. The municipal utility in the German port city of Emden, where it builds the Passat, operates a windpark estimated to supply 20 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.

"We are in talks with operators over a stake in offshore windparks," a spokeswoman for Volkswagen said.

Late in June, the group's plant unit Volkswagen Kraftwerk GmbH signed a deal to draw roughly 10 percent of the electricity used in its 12 German manufacturing plants from hydropower generated by Austria's Verbund starting 2013.

Volkswagen has set a target of reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from its production plants by 40 percent over a period of ten years compared with 2010.

(Reporting by Christiaan Hetzner; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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