Christoph's Feed
Mar 6, 2014

Germany’s solar sell-off: picking up the remaining pieces

FRANKFURT, March 6 (Reuters) – Foreign investors are looking
to snap up what is left of Germany’s once-booming solar
industry, in time to benefit from an expected global recovery in
the sector.

During the last decade, Germany pioneered the solar industry
by throwing billions of euros in subsidies at it, making it the
world’s largest market for solar panels in the process.

Mar 4, 2014

RWE warns of frugal future after historic net loss

ESSEN, Germany (Reuters) – Germany’s biggest power producer RWE AG (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said forays into new business areas would not be enough to fill a hole left by the demise of conventional power plants, offering little hope that the group can regain its former earnings potential.

The company on Tuesday posted a net loss of 2.76 billion euros ($3.80 billion), its first in more than six decades, after a surge in solar and wind capacity undercut the profitability of its power plants and triggered nearly 5 billion euros in writedowns.

Mar 4, 2014

RWE posts historic net loss as writedowns bite

ESSEN, Germany, March 4 (Reuters) – Germany’s biggest power
producer RWE AG has posted its first annual net loss
in more than six decades, after a surge in solar and wind
capacity undercut the profitability of its power plants and
triggered nearly 5 billion euros ($6.9 billion) in writedowns.

The company said on Tuesday it had swung to a net loss of
2.76 billion euros from a profit of 1.31 billion a year earlier,
its first net loss since 1949. Sources had told Reuters on
Friday that the group may post a full-year net loss of close to
3 billion euros.

Feb 26, 2014

Denmark’s Danfoss to buy stake in SMA Solar for $415 mln

FRANKFURT, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Danish energy firm Danfoss A/S
will buy a fifth of SMA Solar for 302 million euros
($415 million), the German company said on Wednesday, hoping to
gain a strong shareholder in its fierce battle against low-cost
Asian rivals.

SMA Solar – the world’s largest maker of solar inverters, a
key component needed to feed solar electricity into the power
grid – was long protected from an industry crisis that has
claimed many makers of solar cells and modules, including
Q-Cells, Solon and Conergy.

Feb 24, 2014

Volkswagen shares drop on profit outlook, Scania bid

FRANKFURT/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shares dropped on Monday after Europe’s biggest carmaker said its operating profit margin was likely to miss analyst forecasts this year and it would ask shareholders to help fund a buyout of Swedish trucks arm Scania (SCVb.ST: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

The shares fell as much as 7.5 percent after the German group announced its operating margin guidance on Friday, along with a 6.7 billion euro ($9.2 billion) bid for the approximate 37 percent of Scania it does not already own.

Feb 18, 2014

Looking to buy a gas plant? Stay in Britain

LONDON/FRANKFURT, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Investors keen on
snapping up a gas power plant should keep their focus on Britain
as deals in continental Europe could backfire more easily if
bets on rising power prices and capacity gaps go against them.

Europe’s gas plants’ profits have taken a severe hit due to
growing renewables capacity, low coal and carbon prices and
stagnating energy demand in a weak economic environment.

Feb 6, 2014

Wacker Chemie posts strong results on Asian solar demand

FRANKFURT, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Wacker Chemie posted
forecast-beating fourth-quarter results on Thursday, citing
strong demand for the polysilicon it supplies to Asia’s booming
solar industry.

Following years of falling government subsidies for solar
power in Europe, the global industry is taking heart from
China’s decision to more than quadruple solar generating
capacity to 35 GW by 2015 and Japan’s push to find alternatives
to lost nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Feb 5, 2014

E.ON, VNG may sell gas grid EVG Thueringen – sources

FRANKFURT, Feb 5 (Reuters) – German utility E.ON
and gas firm VNG AG are considering selling their
jointly owned regional gas grid EVG Thueringen in an auction
that could fetch 300-400 million euros ($406-540 million), two
people familiar with the matter said.

The sale of EVG, which operates a 1,200 kilometre gas grid
in the German states of Thuringia and Saxony, could be launched
this month or next, one of the people told Reuters.

Feb 4, 2014

Nordex CFO eyes first net profit in three years

FRANKFURT, Feb 4 (Reuters) – German wind turbine maker
Nordex will post its first profit in three years for
2013, its chief financial officer said on Tuesday, citing a
successful overhaul that saw the group cut costs and jobs at
home and abroad.

Nordex is emerging from an overcapacity crisis and falling
state subsidies as European governments back wind power, which
is much cheaper than its solar equivalent, to increase their
exposure to renewable energy sources.

Feb 3, 2014

Analysis – Germany’s utilities struggle to adapt to renewable revolution

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Faced with a plunge in profits, Germany’s power utilities are having to bend to the will of the government and join the renewable energy revolution, while smartening up on the retail front with new customer-friendly energy saving products.

“The situation in the energy sector is miserable, in Germany and in the whole of Europe,” Peter Terium, chief executive of RWE (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), Germany’s second-largest utility by market value, said at an industry conference last month.

    • 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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