09 May 2017 | Julian Wettengel

E.ON's green utility debut "disappointing" / Lignite exit on sale

E.ON / Bloomberg

“E.ON profit misses estimates in earnings debut as green utility”

German utility E.ON’s first-quarter adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of just over 1 billion euros was around 34 percent below the previous-year figure, in line with the company’s expectations, the company has said in a press release. This was due to higher grid fees and higher procurement costs for power and gas in Germany and the UK, and the long standstill of nuclear power station Brokdorf, said E.ON.
The first quarter results “disappointed analysts in its first earnings report free of the writedowns from the fossil-fuel business it split from last year,” writes Tino Andresen for Bloomberg. “German power prices rose 33 percent in the quarter and UK gas jumped 42 percent from a year earlier, exposing the company to the volatile commodity markets it argued for months that the split from Uniper was designed to avoid,” writes Andresen.

Read the Bloomberg article in English here and find E.ON’s press release in English here.

Find background in the CLEW factsheet E.ON shareholders ratify energy giant’s split.

 

Uniper / Reuters

“Uniper first-quarter operating profit beats estimates on cost cuts”

German utility Uniper’s operating earnings in the first quarter 2017 fell by 41 percent compared to the same period 2016, due primarily to last year’s lucrative deal with Russian Gazprom, the company announced in a press release.
This was less than what had been anticipated by analysts, as cost cuts at its power plant division helped the group offset weaknesses at its hydroelectric plants, writes Christoph Steitz in an article for Reuters. E.ON’s fossil spin-off Uniper generated adjusted earnings before interest and taxes of 514 million euros in the first quarter of 2017.

Read the Reuters article in English here and find Uniper’s press release in English here.

Find background in the CLEW factsheet E.ON shareholders ratify energy giant’s split.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung / Greenpeace Energy / IÖW

“With the weapons of capital”

Green power provider Greenpeace Energy uses “the weapons of capital” to push for a German coal exit by offering a power contract that lets customers invest in renewables expansion in the country’s lignite areas, writes Michael Bauchmüller for Süddeutsche Zeitung. The company “sees itself as the political enabler of the Energiewende and merges business with the commitment” to a cause, writes Bauchmüller. With a support amount of one cent per kilowatt hour electricity, customers finance the construction of new solar PV parks in coal mining areas.
The lignite exit had to start now and “we do not want to wait for politicians any longer”, Nils Müller, board member at Greenpeace Energy, said in a press release. He explained the company’s offer was based on findings of a new study by Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), commissioned by Greenpeace Energy.
The expansion of renewables holds enough potential to fully replace lignite jobs in the German states Brandenburg, Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, according to the study.

Find the article in German here, Greenpeace Energy’s press release in German here, and the study in German here.

For background read the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?

 

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)

No economic future for coal plant Jänschwalde due to new EU emissions limits - report

German coal-fired power plant Jänschwalde “probably has no economic future post-2021” because of new European Union limits on emissions for power plants, according to a report by US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). IEEFA “question[s] the wisdom of the German state,” which had agreed to pay utilities to put old and inefficient lignite plants in a reserve. Against the votes of Germany, Poland and others, a regulatory committee of EU national representatives had agreed at the end of April on tighter limits that can now be formally adopted by the European Commission and would have to be met by 2021.

Find the press release in English here and the report in English here.

For background read the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Climate conference troubled by Washington“

Environmental groups called on participants of the UN’s Climate Change Conference in the German city of Bonn to not be sidetracked by the “distracting fire” of US President Donald Trump, reports Andreas Mihm in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Details of the Paris Climate Agreement are being discussed in Bonn. Trump’s decision on the US role in the Paris Climate Agreement is expected in the near future.

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier COP21 - The view from Germany.

 

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