“Opinion: RWE is an energy bad bank”
German utility RWE would be “merely a sort of ‘bad bank’ of the energy business” without the 75 percent share in its renewable spin-off innogy, and RWE's problems are self-inflicted, writes Andreas Becker in an opinion piece for Deutsche Welle. “The fact that RWE's payment to [the nuclear clean-up fund] has now shown up on the books as a record annual loss proves once again that RWE and Germany's other big electricity utilities have lived very well for decades off a cash-cow business for whose considerable risks they made very little financial provision, preferring instead to pay out generous dividends to shareholders,” writes Becker. RWE had announced a multi-billion euro write-down for 2016. Further write-downs were assured if “additional constraints on coal-fired power plants” were put in place after the autumn parliamentary elections when discussions on a coal phase-out could gain new momentum, writes Becker.
Read the opinion piece in English here.
For background read the CLEW factsheet Securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up.