01 Dec 2015 | Sören Amelang

RWE to split in two, following in E.ON's footsteps

RWE / Handelsblatt

Utility RWE follows E.ON example, to split in two

One of Germany’s largest utilities RWE will split in two, the company announced on Tuesday. Renewables, grids and retail activities in Germany and abroad will be transferred into a new subsidiary company which will be listed on the stock market probably by late 2016. RWE will retain the majority of shares “over the long-term” a company press release states. The remaining RWE parent company will focus on conventional power generation and energy trading. "The Group's restructuring is our response to the transformation of the European energy landscape," Peter Terium, CEO of RWE said. The split did not affect RWE’s liabilities for nuclear decommissioning and waste storage he said. “On the contrary, the shares of the new subsidiary will be an asset that will make it easier for us to fund provisions in the future if necessary, whatever the circumstances." The split is pending approval by the company’s supervisory board which is due to meet on 11 December. RWE is following in the footsteps of E.ON who announced a similar split a year ago, a move that Terium had opposed for a long time, the Handelsblatt writes.

Find the RWE press release in English here

Read a CLEW dossier on Germany’s big utilities in the energy transition here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on securing utility payments for the nuclear phase-out here.

 

Bloomberg

“On clean energy, the wind blows from Germany”

Germany's ambitious, painful and expensive Energiewende has helped spur the development of technology that may soon work for others without massive subsidies, writes Leonid Bershidsky in a column for Bloomberg. Despite problems, “it’s clear now that the program has been a success and that as long as there is a well-defined goal and a determined effort to reach it, the necessary technology will present itself," writes Bershidsky. "The most heated arguments at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris, which got under way on Monday, will be about how to split the cost of reducing emissions among richer and poorer countries. Germans have already answered the question by unilaterally shouldering the energy transition burden.”

Read the column in English here.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Merkel’s heartfelt wish”

German environmentalists may criticise Merkel, saying she could move further and faster to decarbonise the economy, writes Andreas Mihm in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.  But off the record, many do value her long-standing engagement for climate protection. “Merkel, as a  measured policy manager, needs to weigh up what is politically realistic against what is desirable for climate policy,” writes Mihm.

Find a CLEW factsheet on “Climate Chancellor Merkel” here.

 

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

“Gabriel starts showcase for future energy supply”

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has launched a programme to develop five model regions for the future energy supply, focussing on innovations in digital networking to balance power generation and demand. Minister Sigmal Gabriel said in a statement the government will support the regions with up to 230 million euros over four years, expecting to trigger around 600 million euros of private investment in the digitalisation of the Energiewende. “The showcases are meant to serve as blueprints for a broad roll-out of intelligent energy integration in the whole of Germany.”

 Find the press release in German here.

 

Die Welt

“Only the market economy can stop climate change”

The UN's climate conference in Paris is being staged as if it were humanity’s fateful hour, but that is exaggerated and diplomatically inept, writes Daniel Wetzel in a commentary in Die Welt. COP21 is “not the huge, decisive final summit of international climate diplomacy. Paris will not decide about apocalypse or saving the planet, nor is it a new era of world history. Paris is only a stepping stone,” he says. Wetzel writes that existing climate diplomacy cannot stop climate change, which would be more easily abolished by market forces. “The solution to the climate problem might be to extend trading of emissions certificates to the entire globe if possible. This would reduce the role of politics to distributing a sufficiently scarce number of tradeable permits.” After that, everything else could be left to market forces, argues Wetzel.

Read the commentary in German here.

 

Federal Grid Agency

Grid agency cuts feed-in tariffs for onshore wind

Because construction of new onshore wind turbines has significantly outstripped the government’s target range in the past twelve months, the Federal Grid Agency will cut feed-in tariffs for new installations by 1.2 percent in April 2016. Net additions of onshore wind installations amounted to 3,712 MW between November 2014 and October 2015, compared to a target range of 2,400 to 2,600 MW, according to the agency.

Find the press release in German here.

 

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

Dialogue with car industry about future challenges

The government and representatives from the car industry and unions today signed a common declaration on securing the future of the car industry in Germany. Central aim is a strengthening of innovative leadership at German car companies, so production, research and employment can be secured, according to a press release by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). “In order to achieve this aim, we need to create the right conditions and push central future topics such as the electrification of engines, as well as automated driving. A fast roll-out of e-mobility can only become a success with further incentives. We must also manage to establish a competitive production of battery cells”, said state secretary Matthias Machnig.

Read the ministry’s press release and the declaration in German here.

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