FRANKFURT, March 28 (Reuters) – German insurer Allianz SE
and a Canadian investor agreed to pay some 1.6 billion
euros ($2 billion) including debt for a Czech gas pipeline
operator, as financial investors flock to such assets in search
of safe returns.
The purchase of RWE AG’s Net4Gas unit is the
latest in a string of acquisitions in the field of power and gas
grids, which are attracting pension funds and insurers due the
promise of steady returns amid low bond yields and volatile
FRANKFURT, March 27 (Reuters) – SMA Solar’s
profits and dividend more than halved last year, hit by plunging
prices that have led to a wave of insolvencies in the solar
The world’s largest maker of solar inverters – a key
component in solar installations needed to feed solar power into
the electricity grid – on Wednesday reported a 58-percent drop
in 2012 operating earnings to 102 million euros ($131 million).
FELDHEIM, Germany (Reuters) – Nations as diverse as North Korea and the United States have sent delegations to visit a tiny village in former East Germany to see how it has transformed the way it uses energy.
A 60-minute drive south of Berlin and home to about 125 people, Feldheim is Germany’s first and only energy self-sufficient village and attracts both international energy experts and politicians.
FRANKFURT/MUNICH, Germany, March 14 (Reuters) – Germany’s
Wacker Chemie, the world’s No. 2 maker of polysilicon,
cut its dividend for 2012 by nearly three quarters as profits
tumbled and forecast falling earnings this year, blaming
consolidation in the solar sector.
Prices of polysilicon, a key ingredient needed to make solar
cells, plunged 47 percent last year due to global oversupply
triggered by years of government incentives in Germany and other
countries to encourage consumers to shift to solar energy. Those
incentives are now being scaled back.
DUESSELDORF, Germany, March 13 (Reuters) – E.ON
said it wanted to close the sale of its stake in uranium
enrichment firm Urenco this year or next, as part of a drive to
shed assets and cut its massive debts.
The utility, hit by Germany’s decision to pull out of
nuclear power, stagnating energy demand in Europe and high
borrowings, plans to offload up to 20 billion euros worth of
operations, including non-core nuclear businesses.
FRANKFURT/MILAN, March 8 (Reuters) – Renewable energy is
constantly evolving and challenging traditional utilities but
one growing sector could make home-generated power much easier
to use and cut customers’ dependence on energy companies
dramatically – solar batteries.
A major conundrum with solar panels has always been how to
keep the lights on when the sun isn’t shining.
ESSEN, Germany, March 5 (Reuters) – Germany’s No. 2 utility
RWE has put its oil and gas exploration unit up for
sale in a move that could raise about 4.6 billion euros ($6
billion) for its drive to cut debt.
RWE had previously said it only wanted to sell parts of the
unit, called DEA, which accounted for 23 percent of the group’s
operating profit in 2012.
FRANKFURT, March 4 (Reuters) – Germany’s plan to curb rising
energy costs for consumers before a September election may
backfire if it scares off the investors desperately needed to
fund an ambitious shift from nuclear to renewable energy.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 550-billion euro ($714 billion)
energy shift, dubbed “Energiewende”, was unveiled nearly two
years ago after Japan’s Fukushima disaster and depends on the
financial firepower of pension funds, infrastructure investors
and utilities, including the likes of Allianz, Munich
Re, E.ON and RWE.
FRANKFURT/MUNICH, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Wacker Chemie
said rising demand in China and the United States had halted a
slide in the price of polysilicon, potentially brining an end to
years of margin declines for a key ingredient needed for making
“It looks as if prices for polysilicon have reached a
floor,” Chief Financial Officer Joachim Rauhut said, adding the
world’s No.2 maker of polysilicon still had a tough first
quarter ahead of it.
FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Workers at E.ON
are planning the first strike in its more than
12-year history to start on Feb. 4, unions said, adding to
pressures on Germany’s top utility from economic stagnation and
“The strikes will begin on Monday,” Volker Stueber, a
negotiator at the Verdi trade union, said on Friday.