FRANKFURT, June 25 (Reuters) – German utility RWE
is merging its units overseeing strategy and innovation, one of
its executives said, highlighting the growing need for rapid
technological progress in an industry considered ponderous and
“The energy sector has not been an industry that was
considered innovative in the past,” Thomas Birr, head of
strategy at RWE, told Reuters in an interview.
FRANKFURT, June 25 (Reuters) – Germany’s utilities are
preparing for their next battle. While fighting to turn a
profit as energy policy hammers their businesses, energy groups
now fear technology companies disrupting what has been seen as a
safe if worthy sector.
Amazon revolutionised retail, Apple is
shaking up the music industry and RWE sees it as only
a matter of time before large technology groups start eroding
market share in power, where customers would jump at the
opportunity to cut their bills and increase efficiency.
FRANKFURT, June 10 (Reuters) – German solar company SMA
Solar and engineering giant Siemens have
teamed up to equip utility-scale solar parks with technology to
link them to the grid, hoping to benefit from the rising global
demand for photovoltaics.
As part of the deal, SMA will offer solar inverters, needed
to turn direct current into alternating current, while Siemens
will contribute transformers and switchgear, including grid
connection, SMA said.
FRANKFURT, June 8 (Reuters) – German solar and wind park
operator CHORUS Clean Energy plans to list its shares on the
Frankfurt stock exchange at the beginning of the third quarter,
it said on Monday.
It said it hopes to fetch 100 million euros ($112 million)
by selling new shares and also plans to sell stakes currently
owned by unnamed investors that would amount to 4.2 percent of
the company’s share capital, but did not give a value for this.
LUXEMBOURG/FRANKFURT, June 4 (Reuters) – A German tax on the
use of nuclear energy does not breach European Union laws,
Europe’s top court said on Thursday, dealing a blow to
utilities’ hopes for a multi-billion euro refund.
Germany’s top three energy groups – E.ON, RWE
and EnBW – have said the tax, of which they
have paid about 5 billion euros ($5.67 billion) – is illegal and
favours other electricity sources, demanding the tax be repaid.
BERLIN, June 3 (Reuters) – Lithuania has at least until the
end of 2016 to decide on whether to prolong a long term gas
imports deal with Russia, the boss of its top utility said.
Russia accounts for 80 percent of Lithuania’s gas imports
and supplies much of the 70 percent of electricity imports into
the Baltic states’ biggest economy.
BERLIN, June 2 (Reuters) – Vattenfall’s new chief
says the Swedish utility will boost investment in Germany and
neighbouring countries despite losing billions of euros in a
disastrous foreign expansion drive over the past decade.
Magnus Hall, a forestry industry veteran who became
Vattenfall chief executive in October, said the company will
focus new investment on offshore wind, energy services and
district heating and expects Germany to remain its main market,
even after selling its lignite, or brown coal, activities there.
BERLIN, June 2 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s biggest private power
producer DTEK hopes to hammer out a deal with banks by October
to delay payment of most of its $3 billion in debt as it is
unable to service obligations after being hit by the country’s
political crisis, its CEO said.
About a third of DTEK’s debt is public in the form of
Eurobonds, but the vast majority is owed to banks including
Dutch ING, Italy’s UniCredit and Austria’s
Erste Bank and Raiffeisen Bank.
BERLIN, June 1 (Reuters) – The European Commission’s planned
reform of Europe’s power system will include proposals to make
electricity retail markets and prices more flexible, Europe’s
energy chief said on Monday.
European Commissioner for Climate and Energy Miguel Arias
Canete told European utilities trade group Eurelectric’s annual
conference that as power generation becomes more unpredictable
because of intermittent solar and wind, consumers should have
the option to respond to variable prices.
BERLIN, June 1 (Reuters) – Britain’s second-biggest energy
supplier SSE said on Monday that it expects solid demand
for its planned sale of about 500 million pounds’ ($759 million)
worth of onshore wind power assets.
“Initial soundings are that there’s quite a lot of
interest,” CEO Alistair Phillips-Davies told Reuters on the
sidelines of the annual Eurelectric conference.