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13 Jan 2020, 14:20
Julian Wettengel

German RWE plans renewables investments largely abroad

Clean Energy Wire

German energy company RWE aims to become carbon neutral by 2040 and plans the requisite renewables investments largely away from its home market, writes Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. The company, which still has big lignite operations in Germany and owns many of Europe’s most CO₂-intensive power plants, aims to invest 1.5 billion euros annually in renewables over the coming years, Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, CEO of RWE Renewables GmbH, told Die Welt. As one of the world’s biggest producers in the renewables business, “we must not think in terms of national borders anyway,” she said. RWE currently has no onshore wind turbine under construction in Germany, Dotzenrath added, mainly because of permit issues due to the protection of species regulation, and local opposition from residents. “In such an environment, we increasingly pursue options in other countries.”

RWE in 2019 announced that it aims to become carbon neutral by 2040. The pledge underlines the deep transformation underway at the German operator of lignite mines and power plants, which is now betting on renewables following a massive asset swap deal with former competitor E.ONRWE said it had already decreased its CO₂ output by one third from 2012 to 2018, representing a decline of 60 million tons. An additional reduction of approximately 70 percent compared to 2012 levels is envisaged by 2030.

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