14 Mar 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Merkel calls for precise 2050 CO2 target / RWE forecasts profit rise

Clean Energy Wire

Germany should specify its mid-century climate ambitions soon, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel. “From my point of view, this must be decided at the start of the next legislative period,” she said at a conference by local utility association VKU. Germany’s official target is a CO2 cut of 80 to 95 percent by 2050. “But obviously, there is a huge difference between the two […] clarification is needed.”
Merkel said that Germany will exit coal step-by-step, but must not move too hastily. “This would push whole regions into an unacceptable situation,” Merkel said with reference to coal mining regions Lusatia and North Rhine-Westphalia. “We must not alienate the people permanently.” She jokingly called on the audience: “You should show solidarity. One day, it will be your turn.”

For background read the CLEW factsheets Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets and When will Germany finally ditch coal?

Financial Times / RWE

German utility RWE forecasts adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation of between 5.4 billion and 5.7 billion euros in 2017 “on the back of an improved performance at its trading arm and its green energy subsidiary innogy”, reports Guy Chazan for Financial Times. RWE also confirmed the preliminary 2016 results it published in February. “RWE is back on track. […] We have done our homework. The task at hand now is to continue to build RWE on this solid foundation,” said RWE AG CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz in a press release.

Read the article in English here and RWE’s press release in English here.


French utility Engie is considering buying German utility RWE’s renewables spin-off innogy, writes Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. The deliberations were preliminary and may not lead to an offer, writes Bloomberg.

Read the Bloomberg article in English here.

Find background on RWE’s split in the factsheet RWE’s plans for new renewables subsidiary.


At first glance, the split of German utility RWE was done in a smarter way than that of E.ON, as RWE spin-off innogy just posted a net profit and plans to pay shareholders a dividend, writes Jürgen Flauger in an opinion piece for Handelsblatt. “Yet it remains to be seen if [innogy CEO] Terium’s strategy is also better for RWE shareholders than [E.ON CEO] Teyssen’s path for the shareholders of E.ON and Uniper,” writes Flauger.

Read the opinion piece (behind paywall) in German here.

Find background on RWE’s split in the factsheet RWE’s plans for new renewables subsidiary.

Frankfurter Rundschau

German utilities E.ON, Uniper, RWE and innogy are affected by the competition in the renewable power market and the costs of the country’s nuclear phase-out, but hope for better conditions after the general elections in autumn, writes Frank-Thomas Wenzel in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Rundschau. The companies would like to see a form of capacity market introduced. If that did not happen, fossil power plants would have to be shut down, and power prices would rise in the medium term - which could then raise the utilities’ profits – by 2019/20, writes Wenzel.

Find background on RWE’s split in the factsheets RWE’s plans for new renewables subsidiary and E.ON shareholders ratify energy giant's split.

Reuters / Volkswagen

Operating profits of Volkswagen Group’s core brand slipped in 2016 amid higher marketing costs related to the diesel emissions scandal and plunging demand in key markets, reports Reuters. But VW Board of Management member Frank Witter said in a press release that the group’s results demonstrated that VW was “financially equipped to bear the consequences of the diesel crisis”.

Read the Reuters article in English here and the VW press release in English here.

For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.


The G7 and G20 summits provide European leaders with the opportunity to carefully “push the Trump administration to take a stance on climate”, write Sara Stefanini and Andrew Restuccia for Politico. German chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the White House this week could lay the groundwork, write the authors. The visit was supposed to take place today, but was postponed due to a winter storm.

Read the article in English here.

For background read the CLEW article IEA director calls on Germany to lead on climate during G20 presidency.

50Hertz / Tagesspiegel

The costs for grid congestions management in German grid operator 50Hertz’s control area in north-eastern Germany were almost halved to 180 million euros in 2016, compared to 354 million euros in 2015, according to 50Hertz . “This very clearly shows: grid expansion works,” said CEO Boris Schucht in a press release. There were several reasons for the lower costs: important power lines were finished, phase shifters were installed at the border to Poland, and fewer days with strong winds made for less need to manage excess power, writes Jens Tartler in a separate article in Tagesspiegel. “50Hertz copes with the Energiewende better and better,” he writes.

Read the press release in German here, a presentation of the results in German here and the Tagesspiegel article in German here.

For background read the CLEW factsheets Re-dispatch costs in the German power grid and Loop flows: Why is wind power from northern Germany putting east European grids under pressure?

Vattenfall / BMW Group

Sweden’s Vattenfall has signed a supply contract with German carmaker BMW for batteries – normally used in BMW’s i3 – which the utility plans to use for storage projects in wind farms in Hamburg, near Amsterdam, and in Wales, Vattenfall said in a press release. "Energy storage and grid stability are the major topics of the new energy world,” said Gunnar Groebler, Senior Vice President of Vattenfall.

Read the Vattenfall press release in English here.

For background read the CLEW factsheets Technologies of Energiewende and How can Germany keep the lights on in a renewable energy future?

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