How Big-Four Utilities In Germany View Renewables

Concerning the four largest utilities in Germany, renewable electricity is gaining a larger share of the pie in comparison to conventional energy generation.

As reported by PV-Tech, Germany’s ‘big four’ utilities all point to the growing importance of renewable energy in quarterly reporting their latest financial results.

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Frankfurt old town with the Justitia statue

This week, RWE, E.On, EnBW and Vattenfall delivered 2016 Q1 results. Together, the four hold about a two-thirds share of the country’s power market as well as having interests in other territories. Each has made some efforts to realign itself in recent times with the goals of Germany’s Energiewende, the national transition away from a nuclear and fossil fuel-powered base load, and while some critics have said the utility giants have been slow to move, RWE and E.On are thought to have been more proactive than the other two.

E.On: ‘New beginning and transitional year’

eon-logoE.On spun off its renewables division and conventional generation into separate companies, branding the conventional generation unit with the name Uniper, last year.

E.On hailed the success of its “transformation” this year, especially the spin-off of Uniper and has made several moves into the energy storage market, including a tie-up with solar storage maker Solarwatt and a flow battery demonstration with the UK’s redT.

RWE: Renewables remain constant while conventional power sees 20% drop

rwe logoRWE showed a decline in its conventional power generation business. The operating result for that segment fell to €354 million for the quarter, a drop of 20%, due to falling wholesale prices for electricity. But the company’s renewables division’s operating result remained even with Q1 2015, at €154 million, up by 0.7% from €153 million.

Vattenfall: ‘Strong measures to adapt portfolio in right direction’

VattenfallVattenfall said the sale of lignite operations would lower group carbon dioxide emissions by about 60 million tons, or 70% of Vattenfall’s entire emissions in 2015.

“Renewable energy production will make up an increasingly larger part of the portfolio and contribute to sustainable and profitable growth. At the same time that we are breaking ground on our first large-scale solar farm, we have also concluded a partnership deal with the pension company AMF on a wind farm,” CEO Magnus Hall said, adding that the company will be “climate-neutral” by 2050.

EnBW: Waiting on consequences of changes to renewables law

EnBW logo_enbw_1421920163197EnBW said renewables is an ever-more significant part of its business, stating it aims to double the share of its generation capacity from renewables to 40% by 2020, from 19% in 2012. External revenues from renewables leaped year-on-year from €79.2 million in Q1 2015 to €147.4 million in Q1 2016.

EnBW said demand for coal was declining in the market in favor of renewables, leading to commensurate drops in price.

In total, it is refreshing to witness the gradual shift away from fossil fuels toward renewable sources from these large electricity providers.

Image via Shutterstock









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is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers is editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.