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Profit increased: RWE relies on green electricity - above all abroad

2019-08-14T14:19:05.283Z

TIME ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates


Essen (dpa) - With increasing profits in the back of the lignite burner RWE wants to promote its planned conversion to eco-electricity giant.

For large investment projects in renewable energy in Germany, CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz currently sees little chance due to the lack of conditions: If you can not build in Germany, "then it will not be built," he said on Wednesday at the presentation of the half-year figures.

Schmitz referred to the from his point of view much too long planning and construction times for wind turbines in Germany. "Investors are afraid of that," he said. In the US, such projects are much easier.

There are large wind farms under construction which RWE intends to operate in the future. Renewable energies are a global business in which money flows to where the best profitability is offered, emphasized the RWE CEO.

RWE is facing a major change in its business model. The group wants to hand over the network and sales business of its previous subsidiary Innogy to its competitor Eon.

In return, all renewable energies from Eon and Innogy are to go to RWE. The power plant operator would thus become one of the largest producers of green electricity in Europe. When it comes to wind power at sea, "the new RWE" will start directly as a wide-spread number two, said Schmitz. However, the European Commission has not yet completely approved this billion dollar deal.

The new RWE share price is well received on the stock exchange. With an increase of more than 30 percent since the beginning of the year, the RWE share is among the most successful DAX stocks. Also on Wednesday the share belonged to the winners in the Dax. Thus, RWE has developed significantly better than its rival Eon, which suffers from problems in its UK sales business.

RWE wants to pay dearly for leaving the lignite. Schmitz renewed his demand for a compensation of up to 1.5 billion euros per gigawatt of switched off power and the associated lignite mining. RWE is to cut off around 3 gigawatts of lignite capacity by the end of 2022.

Well 3000 jobs would therefore have to be reduced, said the RWE boss. The Group is currently negotiating the conditions with the German government. The talks were "factually sober," said Schmitz. RWE expects results later this year.

Schmitz left open, how strongly a renouncement of the clearing of the Hambacher forest would contribute to it. "We know what mining costs more if you change it now and possibly leave the forest behind," he said.

In June, the head of RWE had told the "Rheinische Post" that in a completely new lignite planning "the forest could be permanently preserved".

According to a study published by Greenpeace, the Hambach Forest suffers heavily from the effects of heat and drought. The neighboring brown coal open pit deteriorates the situation of the contested forest "blatantly", write experts from the University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

RWE's lignite mine rigs ran at significantly reduced power this year. Electricity production fell by more than a quarter compared to the same period last year. In addition to the clearing stop for the Hambacher Forst, this development also has reasons for the price. In the summer, gas-fired power plants temporarily produced cheaper than lignite-fired power plants. But this is just "a snapshot," said RWE CFO Markus Krebber. "Things will look different again next winter." RWE expects rising prices in the medium term.

The fact that Essen-based utilities were nevertheless able to increase their profit in the first half of the year was due to unusually good trading in electricity, gas, coal and oil. Everything was fine there, said Krebber. Adjusted net income for RWE excluding the previous subsidiary Innogy reached € 914 million, compared to € 683 million in the first half of 2018. As a result, the Group had already raised its forecasts at the end of July.

Interim Report RWE

Speech sheet Schmitz

Source: zeit

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