15 years of juwi
“A clear vision ‘100 % renewable energy’, paired with 200 % commitment.”
“A company with and for the future”
Energy is here
01) juwi 15 years ago: Fred Jung and Matthias Willenbacher establish the Jung & Willenbacher Windenergie Gmbh. They work in their appartements. 02) juwi today: The Executive Board with COO Jochen Magerfleisch (l.). Responsible for more than 1,300 employees with a revenue that will exceed a billion for the first time. 01
Dear juwis, dear readers, For 15 years, juwi has been shaping the energy revolution – together with many cooperation partners and backed by plenty of passion. Taking a look back proves it: We have achieved a great deal. In this special issue, we would like to draw up an exciting story that extends from the very first days in 1996 all the way into the distant future. We will take a look back in time to when Fred Jung and Matthias Willenbacher met over a bowl of potato soup. We will shed some light on the present, in which our company is growing rapidly – something we never could have imagined 15 years ago. And we will dare to take a glimpse: How will juwi’s world look in the future? Enjoy reading! Your Corporate Communications team
Imprint Published by: juwi Holding AG, Energie-Allee 1, 55286 Wörrstadt, Germany Editors: Christian Hinsch (v.i.S.d.P.), Katharina Buss, Benedikt Brüne, Stephan Brust, Hasret Gülmez, Ralf Heidenreich, Iwona Kallok Concept and design: kleiner und bold GmbH, Berlin Printed by: odd GmbH & Co. KG Print + Medien, Bad Kreuznach, © 06/2011
“I am ‘ju’ and You are ‘wi’” 15 years ago, the joint path of Fred Jung and Matthias Willenbacher began – while having potato soup. By Ralf Heidenreich
Leeks, carrots, parsley, potatoes – all ingredients are ready in the “kitchen” that juwitality has arranged on the balcony at company headquarters. Matthias peels potatoes and explains in the strongest regional Pfalz dialect how Schdambers (mashed potatoes) are prepared. Fred, cutting carrots, laughs loudly, the way only he can laugh. They are preparing the meal that, almost exactly 15 years ago, sort of brought them together at the table: potato soup. Much has changed since juwi’s birth. Back then – Fred was 25, Matthias 26 – the two farmers’ sons sat in the kitchen of the Jung family’s farm, the brick cottage, ate their soup and got to know each other. Today, they are standing on the balcony of the executive floor in Wörrstadt. The gaze lingers across the headquarters, where employees enjoy the wonderful sun on the terrace during their lunch break, and where a third set of buildings is about to sprout. All just the result of coincidence?
The first impression: “Honest, spontaneous, without tricks” Fred, how do you remember the first meeting with Matthias? Fred: “I quickly noticed that we are on the same wave length. Two can achieve more than one, lone warrior doesn’t suit us. Matthias was open, u ncomplicated, clear and didn’t beat around the bush.” Matthias, what did you feel back then? Matthias: “Fred received me with open arms. He was honest, without tricks, spontaneous and approached things positively – and he invited me to dinner right away. He scored with that.”
Could things have turned out differently? On the same wavelength Fred already had an offer for founding a wind project company
age, come from the same area and have the same idea at the
with a partner – before he met Matthias for the first time. But
same time – all just coincidence?
he declined. With Matthias it was different: pull up the sleeves, help each other, be there for each other – Fred felt right away
In rapid succession
“that we are on the same wavelength” (see sidebar).
In 1995, in July, Fred met another person who was to decisively
1995 and 1996 were the decisive years in the life of the two
influence his life – his wife Claudia. Things then happened in
business partners. A torn ligament and subsequent inflam
rapid succession. In March 1996, the potato soup, in September
mation of the wound confined the physics and sports student
Fred was engaged to Claudia, in May the meeting in Matthias’
Matthias Willenbacher to a hospital bed in July 1995; there he
student apartment in Mainz (with his parents’ old living room
read in a newspaper article about a wind project in the Eifel
couch and a table made by his father) and the founding of juwi
and was infected by renewable energy. “It clicked ...” The
– by shaking hands on it. “What do we call ourselves? Let’s
agricultural economist Fred Jung had also been infected: He
see: I am ju and You are wi - juwi”. On December 4, 1996, the
was fascinated by the idea of producing clean electric power
notarized contract was at last signed in Kirchheimbolanden.
by using the wind that swept the fields day in and day out. When Matthias didn’t quite succeed with his wind measure
Both quickly understood that the juwi GmbH can’t just be run
ments, someone advised him to call a certain Fred Jung, that
on the side. Particularly since they both had to do everything
guy was doing just what he did. What followed was the potato
themselves for the projects – from searching for the location up
soup in question. Two farmers’ sons who are almost the same
to starting operations. They even brought in the gravel for the
access route themselves. “We had to stand in front on top of the tractor so that it could handle the load,” Matthias remembers a project where he also organized students to help install cables. They had to make a decision. But Matthias was in the middle of his doctoral dissertation . The last straw was a computer virus and a defective backup disk. His ambitions for graduation evapo rated along with the data for his doctoral dissertation. The path 05 06
for 100 percent juwi was clear. Just a coincidence? Passing the ball Today, nobody can say exactly who really was the initiator. Fred scratches his head: “I don’t know, we just passed the ball, one matched the next one, each reacted to the other one.” Spontane ous and direct – just the way the two still work today. Some are astonished that two such “different” people can run a company for such a long time so harmoniously, committed to each other,
“When there were differences, we have always come to an agreement so far, and that very quickly.” Fred Jung and in the final analysis, also so successfully. Sure, the differ ences are obvious. While juwi is Matthias’ life, Fred centers his life around other things: his family and his strong faith. Fred reads the Bible every morning and takes a verse with him for the day. He did that, too, before the first large juwi project,
The big growth: “The juwis are our biggest stock” Matthias, doesn’t juwi’s rapid growth sometimes make you dizzy? Matthias: “We both have our roots in agriculture. That helps us stay grounded. We grow organically, without large acquisitions, and invest only in employees and materials.” What importance do the employees have for the company? Fred: “The employees are our most important stock. The right people in the right positions, who, despite all growth and all change, share the philosophy of juwi, the fundamentals, our drive, and thus safeguard it. That is our success.” How do you manage, in view of the growth, to keep the company in balance? Fred: We have a solid equity-to-assets ratio of 30 percent and don’t waste money like some compa nies listed on the stock exchange. We make sure that the structures are right and keep up with the growth.” Matthias: “That’s why we asked Jochen to become a COO, and we will soon have a fourth COO, as well.”
when after a sleepless night he read the following verse when he first opened his Bible: “For lo, the one who forms the moun tains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals” (Amos 4:13). “That’s when I not only understood that this project would be a success, but also that God is always on my side, supports
The connections are deeper
me and shares responsibility with me.” And just as he begins to
Fred and Matthias dismiss the children with a slapped “give me
talk about his family and his five children, his sons Danilo
five”, laugh and smirk. Then Matthias stops briefly, becomes
(2 years old) and Ben-David (5) and his daughter Sophia (8)
serious. “Everything changed for me the moment we founded
come onto the terrace. The eyes sparkle, the smile becomes
juwi. I became an entrepreneur with all my heart and soul,
even wider – for all four of them.
around the clock, seven days a week. It’s not a job for me, but
a calling, so little time remains for other pursuits. But on the
and right, but we basically have the same direction, the same
other hand, this also allows me more time to initiate things and
goal and also the same tolerance for risk. But if people perceive
move them forward. That’s why it sometimes seems that I’m the
us as being different, that is good for our company.” juwi
one who advances.” Matthias the progressive, Fred the con
wouldn’t be juwi, if the two weren’t advancing together. No, the
servative? Fred shakes his head. “While Matthias frequently
differences are only a small, striking part of the companionship.
follows the direct path, I sometimes look a little more to the left
The connections are significantly bigger – and deeper.
Tolerance and a big heart When Fred and Matthias talk about what makes a good entre preneur, the same terms keep arising, as if they are speaking with one voice: honesty, trust, spontaneity, perseverance, will, optimism, passion, openness, solidarity, cooperation, readiness
“Everything changed for me the moment we founded juwi. I became an entrepreneur with all my heart and soul.” Matthias Willenbacher
to help others, courage, looking at the big picture, willingness to roll up the sleeves and ability to achieve consensus. Fred and Matthias always having the same opinion? “No, of course not. But when there are differences, we have always come to an agreement so far, and that very quickly”, Fred emphasizes and Matthias agrees: “That will continue in the future, too; we always find a solution we can agree upon.” What is the secret? “Tolerance and a big heart, that you say “yes” to the other person, give him freedom in those areas that are very important to him,” both fire off. An important basis for their ability to achieve consensus is what drives both of them. Matthias, with a firm gaze: “Of course, we must manage successfully, but making money
of a big development. “The potential is huge, global. The oppor
is not the focus; not whether juwi becomes the market leader,
tunities for projects exist, even if there are sometimes shifts
either. We want to move something, point the way, offer people
when looking at specific countries. And if more difficult times
something. Energy must be clean, but also socially just.” And
come, we will surmount them, too, because juwi enjoys a very
Fred adds, calmly, but with a pervasive voice: “We don’t grow
good reputation and we are networked very well – with the
for growth’s sake. We do it so that the turnaround in energy is
authorities, banks, investors, politicians and procurement,”
accomplished as quickly as possible, because that is better for
Fred knows. And something else marks juwi. Something that
people. We don’t pretend that juwi must grow that much.
will let the company weather any storm, that’s the strong
There are many situations where we even slow down our
conviction of both: independence. “We are an independent
family-owned business and will remain so. Period!” They say – and finish their soup. They took two and half hours of their
Independence is the key
time. They decide what’s important. And they decide, what’s
juwi’s growth is healthy, the two CEOs explicitly emphasize
happening with juwi. They won’t let anyone spoil the broth
(see sidebar). Renewable energy is only at the very beginning
here, no one.
In the last 15 years juwi welcomed a great number of prominent guests. Some of them found time to write down their thoughts and wishes for juwi’s 15th anniversary: 1) For me, juwi is ... 2) Here’s what I wish juwi in the next 15 years ...
Kurt Beck, governor of Rhineland-Palatine 1) Young, environmentally friendly, economical, innovative. In the true meaning of the word, a young company that carries out modern corporate policy with vision, courage and will, and whose mission is geared towards sustainable living. 2) Continuing economic success and growth. In addition, lots of sun, sufficient wind, and highly satisfied employees, whose strong dedication and innovative ideas con tribute to leading our country into a future without nuclear power.
Hans-Dieter Kettwig, managing director, Enercon GmbH 1) A company that, with more than 358 megawatts that we have installed together, is one of our largest customers. We congratulate Mr. Willenbacher and Mr. Jung, their families, as well as the entire team, on their anniversary! With the slogan “An idea prevails”, Enercon has now for 15 years successfully worked with juwi on wind farm projects around the globe. During this time, we have come to know and appreciate the entrepreneurs as “lone warriors”, and also as an efficient company that is a reliable and skilled partner. Cooperation is characterized by short com munication and decision-making paths, a high degree of professionalism and mutual trust. juwi implements even demanding orders in their usual top quality with short project cycles. 2) We are happy that juwi decided, in the context of a multi-year framework agree ment, to use us as their main supplier for global projects for the coming years, as well. We are honored by this trust and look forward to continuing and expanding this tried and true cooperation in the coming years.
Jürgen Trittin, chairman of the parliamentary group Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN 1) Creativity, commitment and innovative projects such as the wind farm L ettweiler Höhe or the solar park Lieberose on a former military area. 2) The necessary energy transition with an accelerated development of renewable energies means a lot of work for juwi. Therefore, juwi should maintain its commitment and job satisfaction.
Udo Bölts, former competitive cyclist
Jörg Mayer, managing director, Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft
and ambassador of 100% foundation
[German Solar Industry Association], BSW
1) A company with and for the future!
1) A consistently lived 100 percent philosophy of renewable energy. Not only as a non-binding political vision, the way it is much talked about, but with specific
2) That juwi can achieve its goals for
business models that already work nowadays.
humanity and in harmony with nature. 2) Don’t let your ideas, pressure and fast growth fade away!
Jean-Pierre Rummens, chairman “Feed the Hungry e.V.” 1) A reliable partner with a big heart. Whether the tsunami in South East Asia, the tsunami in the Philippines or the earthquake in Haiti, the water treatment after the floods in Pakistan or now in Japan, juwi helps. I was personally in all these places and can therefore guarantee that people have been saved by this great support. They have new life force. Therefore: A heartfelt thanks from “Feed the Hungry” and me and on behalf of thousands of people from many parts of the world.
Johann Lafer, TV chef 1) For 15 years, juwi has worked for renewable energies and supported companies and communities in using new technological potential profitably. With the highest degree of expertise and high ideals, juwi has since worked tirelessly to achieve broad-based use of renewable energies. In the future, use of these alternative energies in all areas will be critical for the general economic situation. 2) Continue the great success and many innovative ideas, from which we will all profit, in the future.
Stephan Hansen, managing director First Solar GmbH 1) A clear vision “100 percent renewable energy”, paired with 200 percent commit ment. In doing so, juwi superbly manages to combine a high degree of skill and professionalism with social and emotional dedication, even during a period of huge growth. This is shown externally by things such as the “Great Place to Work Award”, but even more so, it is felt in each visit and meeting. 2) I wish juwi continuing success while consistently following their vision and implementing the many small and large steps towards it. Some joint projects, such as Brandis or Lieberose, have certainly been a lighthouse along this path, and I hope for many more such great joint projects and adventures.
Uwe Abel, chairman of the board, Mainzer Volksbank eG 1) Successfully making a vision come true in reality. juwi has been demonstrating this with their founders, Fred Jung and Matthias Willenbacher, for 15 years now. The company has, along with its partners, effectively invested in wind farms, solar and biogas facilities domestically and internationally. juwi acts as a regional company that responsibly secures business locations and acts with much commitment in the region, while at the same time being a global player whose systems help protect the environment worldwide. The large project of the community solar facility on the roof of the new Coface arena, which the Mainzer Volksbank eG – as an example of one of many projects – could work on as a partner, offered all residents in Mainz and its sur rounding area the possibility of becoming solar citizens, even without their own roof. 2) That the enthusiasm for implementing ideas, supported by expertise and intelligent corporate decisions, continues to be the motor for tying in with extraordinary success in the future, as well. We are looking forward to many years of amicable and con structive cooperation as partners, with the goal of actively accompanying the vision “100 percent renewable energy is possible”!
01 – 03) From the beginning, juwi was set up in two locations: in Mainz and in Bolanden, where the Service & Technik GmbH initially started operations and was later joined by the Solar sector. In 2003, the 70 employees found a new home in the first “juwi building” in Bolanden (1) and in larger offices in Mainz's city center (2). Here, too, space quickly became tight – some employees worked in the hallways – and an end to the rapid growth was not in sight. That is one of the reasons why juwi combined both locations in the summer of 2008 and, with about 300 employees, moved into a new headquarters in Wörrstadt (3); that headquarters is a model property in terms of energy efficiency. Over the next few years, the headquarters were expanded, currently offering room for more than 700 employees.
04) Beer tent and sausage stand. Nature and technology. Adventure and fun for big and small. juwi’s wind festivals were an event for the entire family right from the start. In 1997, in Ilbesheim, there were only a few visitors, years later in Morbach there were quite a few more. 05) juwi has grown – and the wind festivals have become larger, too. A highlight was the opening of the wind farm and high ropes course in April 2011 with almost 5,000 visitors in Wörrstadt. They got to experience the topic wind energy up close – with visits to wind power stations, first-hand information and a varied program. Next door, the climbing park, framed by ten mighty Enercon wind turbines, lured the v isitors.
06 – 10) Pulling together and celebrating together – that, too, is good team work. And juwi’s “company picnics” are legend ary. In 2003, many joined us as we went to Berlin – and took the juwi banner (6) along. During a weekend a year later, juwis proved their skill and dexterity while climbing (7). For years, the annual ski trip “Ex & Hopp” in Austria has been a highlight (8). Anniversa ries are celebrated together – such as the 2006 celebration of ten years with a ship tour on the Rhine (9). Friends and family members frequently join us (10).
11) In 2001, the Nordex N-60, with a hub height of 69 meters and a rotor diameter of 60 meters, was constructed at the wind loca tion in Kerzenheim in the Donnersberg district of Rhineland Palatine. The photo shows the delivery of the gondola, which is significantly smaller than the current systems. 12) In 2002, construction started at the energy landscape of Morbach, which was officially opened in 2003. The energy land scape is one example of the implementation of the juwi strategy: an economical mix of renewable energies that offers independence to a community and has paved the way for a huge amount of value creation in the region. The photo shows the development of the photovoltaic free-field system in 2002. Back then, the PV modules were installed on wooden frames. Since then, 1.07 MW supply around 1.05 million people with clean solar power each year. 13) In 2005, Lars Falck, managing director of juwi Solar GmbH, still presented solar modules from various manufactures himself at the company site in Mainz. Today, the Solar GmbH has around 600 employees worldwide.
“We shared a desk”
rest”: from operator management to bookkeeping and finance up to human resources. “Much, of course, was still played by ear.” One thing seemed clear from the start: “Matthias and Fred always highlighted that there is only one direction for
juwi to go: forward,” she says. In that respect, they always believed strongly in the development that is happening now. “Today, I am approached by many from the outside, and most are kind of jealous.” What has been accomplished during the last few years is “really unique” – of course, combined with much dedication and a fast pace on the part of all employees. In 2002, Anja Herzbach started working more in-depth on the planning of foreign wind energy systems (mainly in France and the Czech Republic). “Wow, where are all these people coming from?”
One look, a decision. It was 1999 when Anja Herzbach discovered juwi’s first help wanted ad. “I read the ad and knew immediately: I want to have that job.” She convinced us and was hired – as the first permanent employee.
The growth of the company first sank in at the Christmas party in 2006, one year after her son Gustav was born. “I stood around at the party and only thought: Wow, where are all these people coming from?” She smiles, because it was her dream, just as it was that of Matthias and Fred: to develop juwi into a large company. And in addition, it is also thrilling to meet so many new and different people. “Personal contact is very important to me anyway,” she emphasizes. “ I’d rather use the telephone than write an e-mail.” She knows: at juwi, everyone is very dedicated. Even beyond
The juwi world was, of course, very different back then. “We
regular working hours. But what she appreciates at the same
were working primarily from Matthias’s house”, she remem
time is the flexibility. Currently, she works two fixed days per
bers, and adds laughingly: “We all shared one desk.” In other
week in the wind energy sector on the “implementation” team,
words: “Right from the start, I really was used to things being a
but, depending on the state of the project or team coverage,
little tighter at juwi and to have to improvise at times.” In addi
she may come into the office more frequently. “I feel very
tion to Matthias and Fred, a few weeks later three other col
comfortable and now again must handle many different areas
leagues handled acquisitions, implementation and the “service
in my team.” Then she laughs and adds: “So again it’s a little
and technology” sector. Anja Herzbach took care of “all the
like it was twelve years ago.”
“My Role Model is Iceland”
In November 2010, Hakan Kurnaz signed on with juwi as its 1,000th employee. His career serves as an example for the flexibility with which juwis work for the big goal of a turnaround in energy production.
“Which country was that again where the power supply was covered 100% by renewable sources?” Hakan Kurnaz sits in the juwi cafeteria in Wörrstadt and looks inquiringly up to
In early December, he then switched to the sector for which he
the ceiling. “Iceland, wasn’t it? I would like to vacation there
had originally applied: Quality Control and Service. And since the
some day.” The energy source to which he owes his job shines
department was restructured in early May, Hakan has already
through the solar glass facade and warms the 30-year-old’s
filled four jobs at juwi within a very short period of time. “At juwi,
back. The expert in photovoltaics, with the short, dark hair
everything is growing fast, you notice that in every sector,” Hakan
and lively eyes, chats about everything under the sun, includ
knows. He feels that he is in good hands in his current job: “While
ing energy. He hopes that the 100-percent idea – similar to the
setting up nationwide process optimization, I can make a differ
island in the Atlantic – sets a precedent everywhere, and even
ence.” juwi Solar already leads in terms of quality standards, but
faster than it has done so far.
still wants to leave the competition behind even further.
In November 2010, the electrician was hired for the photovol
“I want to continue to grow with juwi,” Hakan looks to the
taic roof systems sector as the 1,000th employee of juwi Group.
future. The company is on a very good path, he says. “Every
His career represents the typical professional flexibility that
thing that’s good for the environment is practiced here.” Expan
characterizes so many juwis today – both new hires and long-
sion of renewable energies must continue, particularly after the
time employees. “I had to work full on right from the start”,
horrible events in Japan, according to Hakan. “Why do people
Hakan remembers his beginning at juwi. “As many systems
take such great risks?” he asks. “For the supply of power, but
as possible had to be connected to the net by the target date,
you can do that differently, too.” Best example: Iceland. It’s a
December 31, 2010.” But he only worked as an installer for two
small country, but the 320,000 inhabitants of the island produce
weeks. While constructing a 500 kW roof system in Rheinau
and use the energy that exists there: three quarters of it come
near Kehl in Baden, he already supported his colleague Dirk
from hydro power, and a quarter comes from geothermal pro
Zell in the latter’s work as site manager by coordinating the
cesses; the energy is therefore completely renewable. “That
country should be used as a role model,” Hakan emphasizes.
Wood as far as the Eye Can Reach The world has changed. And a lot has happened at juwi … By Christian Hinsch
It’s one of these days that have become rare in Rheinhessen.
the turning point. Do you remember?” Meanwhile, the rain has
A strong, steady rain lessens the summer heat that has blan
plastered a gray strand of hair on his forehead.
keted the undulating hills for weeks. “When was the last time this happened?” the old man with the short light brown hair
That was the turning point, but it came too late to halt climate
and the freckled face asks. “I don’t know”, his companion on
change completely. But the new energy policies at least slowed
this stroll in July answers. Rain has straightened his gray, wavy
it down. And they revolutionized the energy system. No huge
hair. The water rolls down his cane – the cane a tribute to too
corporation dictates prices for electricity today; hardly anyone
much love of sports over the last fifty years.
still relies on oil and gas from the Arab regions in crisis. As if it were proof, the wind turbine at the edge of the path acceler
The last summer rain happened, in fact, years ago. Earth
ates in the breeze that’s coming up. At a height of almost
has warmed up, more so than many experts feared so many,
250 meters, it is one of the largest in the world, producing
many years ago. Climate zones have moved, and the weather
almost 40 million kilowatt hours per year. On the other side of
in Germany has also changed dramatically. For years , many
the path, wooden buildings stretch as far as the eye can see.
dry summer days have characterized the months from March
“Come on, let’s drop in there again,” the man with the freckles
through October, precipitation has become rare. “My grand
suggests. “Maybe Jochen is also in the building.”
children have never seen snow,” the man with the freckles says, deep in thought and looking wistfully. Which is strange,
Jochen is there. He is sitting on the roof terrace and discuss
because by now he has almost 20 grandchildren.
ing the newly opened branches in New Zealand, Iceland and Vietnam with colleagues. He seems relaxed, but still wide
The gray-haired man lifts his cane and points north. “Good
awake at age 70. As he is almost always since switching to the
that we converted to renewable energies and new substrata
board of directors ten years ago. The international edition of
even back then.” In the north, thousands of solar panels shine
Spiegel magazine is on the table. Spiegel is one of the few news
in the rain, vegetables prosper despite the drought. This is not
magazines that still publish a print edition nowadays.
a unique case in Germany, because the country has systemati cally committed to solar and wind energy, to biomass and
The two-page spread that’s open shows three middle-aged
saving energy – one of the lessons learned from the nuclear
men, two with fuchsia ties, one with a bright orange one, all
disaster in Japan in 2011. “If I remember correctly, that was
of which sport the number “100%”. The caption reads: “CEOs
of juwi group playing soccer at the fringes of the company’s
think back to the time when the company had just hired its
fifteenth anniversary in September, 2011.” One of the men has
1,000th employee – today it’s almost ten times as many. Voices
freckles. It is one of these features about the days when energy
come into the room from the outside and interrupt the silence.
policy in Germany changed.
“I’m coming.” Hearty laughter erupts, the door opens. “Hi Fred, hi Matthias, welcome!” echoes through the room. A breeze
The women and men around the table are silent. Not many,
catches hold of the magazine pages and closes the two-page
but some, can remember the photo and the anniversary. They
spread. The title says: Special edition, July 3, 2030.
juwi Holding AG
Tel. +49. (0)6732. 96 57-0
55286 Wรถrrstadt, Germany
Fax. +49. (0)6732. 96 57-7001
Published on Aug 31, 2011