BURGHAUSEN, Germany/GEISMAR, Louisiana, June 2 (Reuters)
- Nestled in the green hills of southern Germany, chemical giant
Wacker Chemie churns out a wide range of products, from an
ingredient for chewing gum to the polysilicon
crystals in solar cells.
The electricity to produce all that – enough power for more
than 700,000 households annually – has become more costly at
Wacker’s main factory in Burghausen. It has played a big part in
pushing up the firm’s total energy bill by 70 percent over the
last five years, to nearly half a billion euros.
FRANKFURT, May 20 (Reuters) – There are signs of hope for
German utilities looking for help to keep loss-making plants
open as Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel drives energy reforms
and the regulator signals his support for lifting the sector out
The government wants utilities to keep gas- and coal-fired
plants open to ensure power supply when there is a lull in
variable wind or solar energy.
FRANKFURT, May 14 (Reuters) – RWE, Germany’s
second-biggest utility, said first-quarter operating profit fell
by almost a fifth, offering no prospect for a fast recovery from
a power sector shakeup that has more than halved the company’s
market value in four years.
German utilities are grappling with the biggest ever
upheaval in their business models, caused by weak demand for
energy in Europe and a boom in renewable energy sources that are
given priority access to power grids over their conventional gas
and coal-fired power plants.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s biggest utility E.ON (EONGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday called for compensation for its loss-making gas-fired power stations after posting a 12-percent fall in first-quarter earnings.
Germany’s utilities are under pressure from expansion of renewable energy capacity which is threatening the business model of their conventional power plants, most notably gas.
ESSEN, Germany, April 23 (Reuters) – German utility RWE
plans to sell more energy saving products, its head of
strategy said, as it strives to offset some of the losses made
by its power plants across Europe.
European utilities are facing weak energy demand, as well as
an uncontrolled expansion of solar and wind power, which is
replacing gas and coal-fired plants and pushing many of them
into the red.
ESSEN, Germany, April 16 (Reuters) – Germany’s RWE
said it expected profits to stabilise beyond 2014, albeit at a
lower level, as it targets customer-friendly products in an
attempt to offset a decline in traditional power generation.
Along with larger peer E.ON, RWE has suffered
from weaker energy demand in Europe and a massive expansion of
renewable energy at home, making many of its coal and gas plants
VELKE KAPUSANY, Slovakia/FRANKFURT, April 15 (Reuters) -
U nprecedented talks across the European Union on Tuesday showed
it scrambling for solutions on the ground to break its
dependence on Russian gas and help supply Ukraine.
The EU faces a daunting task in quickly overcoming a
mountain of logistical challenges, avoiding breaking binding
contracts and making sure Ukraine does pay up for gas.
FRANKFURT/WARSAW, April 15 (Reuters) – Germany’s RWE
began deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine on Tuesday,
marking an initial step in EU efforts to boost supplies as a
diplomatic crisis involving Kiev and Moscow poses the risk of
Russia turning off the taps.
A framework agreement signed by Ukraine’s Naftogaz and RWE
subsidiary RWE Supply & Trading in 2012 allows for delivery of
up to 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year.
FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – A Hamburg court has reached a preliminary decision that could lead to German utilities being refunded more than 2.2 billion euros (1.82 billion pounds) in nuclear fuel taxes by the government.
The Hamburg Financial Court said on Monday it had granted a request by nuclear power plant operators E.ON (EONGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and RWE (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), Germany’s two largest utilities, and ordered the central customs offices to pay back the sum.
FRANKFURT, March 27 (Reuters) – SMA Solar,
Germany’s largest solar company by sales, posted its biggest
ever annual net loss on Thursday as it took a hit from plunging
demand in its European core market as well as competition from
lower-cost Asian rivals.
The company said it had swung to a 66.9 million euro ($92.2
million) net loss in 2013, wider than the 60 million average
analyst forecast in a Reuters poll.