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Mar 8, 2013

Solar batteries could be utilities’ next headache

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.

Mar 5, 2013

RWE to sell oil and gas exploration unit to cut debt

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.

Mar 4, 2013

Green investors take fright at German bid to cap power prices

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.

Feb 7, 2013

Wacker Chemie sees end of polysilicon price slump

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
solar panels.

“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.

Feb 1, 2013

E.ON workers to strike after wage talks fail

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
rising renewables.

“The strikes will begin on Monday,” Volker Stueber, a
negotiator at the Verdi trade union, said on Friday.

Jan 30, 2013

Weak European economy to hit power firm E.ON’s profit

FRANKFURT, Jan 30 (Reuters) – E.ON, Germany’s
largest utility, said earnings could fall by a
larger-than-expected 15 percent this year and it would close
plants and cut investment to cope with falling demand for energy
in recession-hit Europe.

Energy providers across Europe are struggling with low
prices and excess capacity following a protracted period of
economic stagnation as the continent battles to rein in its
debts, and there seems little prospect of a rapid recovery.

Jan 23, 2013

German power bonanza energises big players and small specialists

BERLIN, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Germany’s impending energy shift
has set a host of companies, from conglomerates to niche
specialists, jostling for position to capitalise on the
country’s most ambitious infrastructure project in recent

“This is the most exciting time in Germany’s energy sector
since the end of the 1960s, when we saw the last wave of big
grid investments,” says PSI AG Chief Executive Harald

Jan 22, 2013

Germany gives green light to Urenco sale

BERLIN/AMSTERDAM, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Germany gave the green
light to its utilities’ plans to sell their stakes in Urenco,
clearing the way for a long-awaited tender for the world’s
second-largest maker of nuclear fuel.

A consortium behind a former Urenco director told Reuters on
Tuesday it was ready to make a bid for the unlisted uranium
enricher, which it values at around 10 billion euros.

Jan 22, 2013

EU energy chief appeals to Germany to drop energy isolation

BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Germany must turn away from its
go-it-alone energy shift and work more with the European Union
to build a cost-efficient, secure and sustainable sector,
European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Tuesday.

“Germany has to make its energy transformation compatible
with Europe,” Oettinger said on the opening day of Germany’s
most prestigious energy gathering, the three-day annual
Handelsblatt conference.

Jan 22, 2013

Germany takes leave of power market fundamentals

BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Wholesale power prices in Germany
are at their lowest in more than three years, undermining the
profitability of fossil fuel power generation and trading, and
yet 40 million households pay record prices well above European
Union averages.

To explain this state of affairs, look no further than the
expansion of renewable energy installations, which provide
bursts of subsidised power often enough to trash market

    • About Christoph

      "I'm responsible for the coverage of German renewable companies, mainly solar, at Reuters News. Previously, I have worked as a correspondent at Thomson Financial News, covering German technology and construction companies."
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