RWE boss Peter Terium has announced the complete overhaul of his company, says Markus Balser in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. He is cutting out an immense bureaucracy of more than ten different supervisory boards and 100 different subsidiary companies by getting rid of the aloof RWE holding, Balser writes. The central RWE management is supposed to gain influence which should enable it to react more quickly to changes in the sector, he adds. RWE’s share values have dropped from 100 euro at the end of 2007 to just 20 euro on Monday; its debt amounts to 28 billion euros while the company was worth only 11 billion euros on the exchange, Balser says. This means the company lacks capital for investment in new business areas and could still follow E.ON’s footsteps and spin-off the ailing power station branch.
Read the article in German here.
Read a CLEW article about RWE’s turnaround plan here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Plan B for RWE”
Facing an existence-threatening crisis, RWE CEO Peter Terium finally cuts through the rampant bureaucracy and streamlines his company management, writes Helmut Bünder in an op-ed for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. This is a small revolution that might be followed by a larger one, even though a company separation like E.ON is not yet on the table for RWE. It is nevertheless remarkable that Terium, who for a long time vehemently opposed splitting RWE, is now publicly reflecting on the pros and cons of such a move. The new RWE structure facilitates this option.
“RWE, this is not enough”
In its glorious times as part of the electricity oligopoly, RWE amassed a myriad of subsidiary companies, chairmen and board positions – it was about time that it tightened the organisation and cut down on costs, writes Antje Höning in an editorial for the Rheinische Post. But compared to rival E.ON and its spin-off of conventional power production, RWE has not presented enough to ensure the survival of the company, Höning says. RWE needs a future-proof business model and that has to include more than another round of job cuts.
PV-magazine / Die Familienunternehmer
“Family-owned businesses unhappy with energy policy”
Family-owned companies in Germany are not satisfied with the government’s energy policy, giving it bad marks in a survey conducted by business association Die Familienunternehmer, PV-magazine reports. Some 47 percent believe that the energy transition is an opportunity for Germany, while 43 percent of the 521 participants said it posed a risk. With regard to their own company, 19 percent said they were benefiting from the Energiewende while 49 percent said it was rather harmful to their business. More small and medium-sized businesses are investing into energy efficiency measures, with the majority saying they had succeeded in reducing energy usage by between ten and 20 percent.
Handelsblatt Global Edition
“A Very Unpopular Energy Reform”
The German solar industry is deeply disappointed about the latest reform of the Renewable Energy Act which came into effect a year ago, writes Dana Heide in Handelsblatt Global Edition. “The amendment was an absolute catastrophe […] and cost many jobs,” Pierre-Pascal Urbon, chief executive of Kassel-based solar producer SMA told the publication. Since the reformed law defined expansion limits and cut the set remuneration for green electricity production, hardly any new solar plants have been built and the wind sector has seen fewer additions this year than in the first six months of 2014, Heide writes. Companies – of whom more and more are producing their own power – are lamenting a new rule whereby their own electricity consumption is no longer exempt from the renewables surcharge.
“Japan returns to nuclear power - short political half-life”
Quite a few Japanese citizens will be looking enviously at the achievements of the German civil society these days, says Bernward Janzing in an opinion piece for the taz – die tagesszeitung. The Japanese nuclear phase-out was short lived because the exit was solely driven by the Fukushima catastrophe - and catastrophes have a short political half-life. But there is every reason to believe that the exit from nuclear power in Germany will be final, Janzing says. This is because the political fight against nuclear power and the commitment of citizens for renewable energies have always been connected. People with solar panels on their roofs, citizen groups that invest in wind turbines and farmers that build biogas plants are securing Germany’s nuclear phase-out.