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Interview with the new directors of Bischoff and Ditze

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Bischoff and Ditze are a Hamburg-based green energy service provider. Among their offerings are Guarantees of Origins backed by their own labels, GoO auditing services and the Ecolabel Index, which acounts for more 450 labels.

On 19 August, the company announced a change of leadership, with Julia Pösl and Malte Mertens taking the reins from acting management director Oliver Germetroth and managing shareholder and company namesake, Thomas Ditze. Greenfact took the opportunity to speak to the new managing directors.

1.       Firstly, congratulations on the recent promotion. Which aspects/tradition of the business are you hoping to build on from Thomas Ditze?

Malte Mertens: Thank you. Well, with Thomas Ditze and Martin Bischoff in 2005, BDE was the first professionalized German company to handle European Guarantees of Origin (GoOs) for German customers. And now we are one of the established companies for Green energy-labelled products. So, we see it as our task to continue on this path and strengthen our position and enhance the cooperation with our energy supplying costumers.

Julia Pösl: In the meantime, while also the average person knows about the “Stromsee” (power pool), it is still frequently not communicated cleanly. With guarantees of origin we have a documentation system or an established tracking system from production to the end user which avoids double counting. Bischoff & Ditze has always been committed to transparent documentation and clear communication – and will continue this commitment in the future.

2.       What is the new direction you are hoping to set for B & D, given your previous roles in sales and customer relations within the organisation?

Malte Mertens: We see the market growing worldwide and we have seen the requests from energy suppliers get more particular during the last years. But also due to the international focus of end-users, we have to had a look at EAC and carbon solutions worldwide. So, we have already developed and are starting to implement new solutions for energy suppliers to help handle these more specialized requests.

Particularly against the background of the climate debate - which has recently been further intensified by the Fridays for Future movement - we have noticed a significant increase in demand. The demand for GoOs from large companies with sustainability strategies and energy supplier portfolios with labelled green power products is becoming increasingly important. We are also convinced that demand will continue to grow in the coming years and that it will continue to do so even in the current situation. Climate protection is no longer a fashionable topic, but a mainstream one.

3.       What do you see as the main challenges in the German GO market, particularly with regards to the EEG?

Julia Pösl: There is an ongoing discussion on the regulatory side, especially concerning the handling of GoOs next to EEG-production in the fuel-mix. Of course, this is also an exciting time for us as a company and can offer new opportunities for the future development of certificate-based solutions of green power products in Germany.

At the moment we are still at the very beginning and the market is only just establishing itself. Other European countries are already well ahead of us and their market participants have been able to gain a lot of experience over the last few years. The PPA issue is on everyone's lips, but at the same time, customers generally still want greater flexibility when purchasing electricity volumes. Guarantees of origin as a separate instrument for proving the quality of green electricity have become established and offer municipal utilities and energy supply companies good opportunities. We keep an eye on the situation, hold many discussions both on the regulatory side and with plant operators and are always happy to keep our customers up to date on new developments.

4.       B & D are one of the stakeholders in the CertifHy project for renewable Hydrogen, how do you see this market developing in the next few years?

Julia Pösl: We see the importance of this topic and the political motivation, not only in Germany.

CertifHy is an important project to also bring GoOs for Hydrogen-production online.

But it will take some time. And the industrial sector takes an important role as a driver of demand. Hopefully, we can talk about some good news within the next year(s).

5.       While the pandemic lead to a downturn, it has also presented some opportunities in the green sector. Has this year opened any new possibilities for B & D?

Malte Mertens: Well, we are happy to see that the pandemic did not put a strain on our business. We can even talk about a good business year for us. The market was on a stable level and our consumers continued to utilize green energy solutions. Most of our clients this year did have their focus on products with guaranteed renewable investments. For example, our label RenewablePLUS continued its growth all through 2020.

Julia Pösl: We also assume that climate protection will remain an important topic in society - even if it is momentarily somewhat relegated to the background - and that it will only continue to gain in importance. We look forward to playing an active role in shaping this change in the future.

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