DThe long-term energy company RWE wants to expand its green electricity business with billions of investments, relying on the booming markets in North America and Asia. "Renewable energy is becoming a global and growing business for us," said CFO Markus Krebber. "We expect to invest billions of euros in the expansion of the US business in the coming years".
By the second half of the next decade at the latest, the utility wants to enter the Asian market for renewable energy sources. "Preparations are starting now."
With the planned acquisition of the green electricity activities of the subsidiary Innogy and that of Eon by the end of the year, the environmental critic supplier wants to become one of the largest producers of green electricity. If the European Commission agrees to the entire exchange agreement with Eon, RWE would do green power plants of ten gigawatts – roughly equivalent to the production of ten nuclear power plants – in one go.
And it shouldn't stay that way. "We ourselves want to invest around 1.5 billion euros a year, together with our partners, the total sum of 2.5 billion euros," announced Krebber.
"You want to invest in all technologies"
With the move to more distant markets like the United States, the utilities are also responding to the diminished state subsidies for green electricity in this country. For larger projects that require a lot of capital, partnerships are common. Therefore, the Karlsruhe EnBW is also in view of the US offshore market and is willing to cooperate. EdF from France and EDP from Portugal have allied themselves with the oil company Shell. This Wednesday RWE has also signed a new credit line of over five billion euros to expand its operations.
"We want to invest in all technologies: offshore wind, wind energy, solar energy and storage," said Krebber. The main market for investments in the coming years in wind energy at sea is Europe, for wind energy in North America and Europe. "For photovoltaics, North America, Europe and even Australia are relevant."
The supplier, founded in 1898, intends to manage the green electricity business under the name of RWE Renewables in the future. The division will immediately become one of the most important pillars of the parent company RWE, which will continue to include conventional generation and trade. In the first year following the conclusion of the barter transaction, it is expected to contribute more than half to the correct EBITDA of the Group.
The 46-year-old Krebber has been CFO since October 2016. The graduate economist is considered a successor of the CEO of RWE Rolf Martin Schmitz (61). This is due to his commitment to lignite after RWE CEO Harry Roels 2006 and Jürgen Großmann 2010 last year from the German Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) received the anti-Dinosaur award of the year.
Eon and Innogy have already made progress in the United States. More than 650 employees are already in place. RWE acquires three gigawatts land wind farms. The pipeline has another eight gigawatts, Krebber said. "Very good positions for wind turbines in the United States lie between the Great Lakes in the north and Texas and New Mexico in the south."
Eon had mainly built facilities there, Innogy acquired an attractive portfolio in other countries like Ohio and Pennsylvania. "The areas mentioned in the future will continue to focus on the future." The Group wants to develop and build projects on its own. "We are currently not planning any major acquisitions by other companies in the field of renewable energy." Offshore wind energy is particularly attractive in Asia, for example in Japan or Korea. "I can well imagine that we will make a big investment in Asia by 2025."
RWE's last major release in the United States was a failure. In 2003, the company had taken over the American Water Works water company for a good 4.5 billion euros plus debt. Six years later, and after heavy losses, the Essenes rejected the company. "Our previous activities in North America in the water sector are by no means comparable to current ones," stressed Krebber. With American Water RWE had therefore started an activity that had nothing to do with the rest of the group's activities. "It's different with renewables."
(TagToTranslate) Markus Krebber (t) Vera Eckert (t) RWE (t) ISIN_DE0007037129 (t) E.ON (t) ISIN_DE000ENAG999 (t) ON