RWE likely to take even more power plants off the grid | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 12.08.2014
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RWE likely to take even more power plants off the grid

According to newspaper reports, German utility company RWE is planning to mothball even more power plants. It's been suffering from a drastic reduction in German energy prices at the electricity exchange.

German utility RWE was mulling pulling the plug on more power plants, a report carried by the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" daily claimed Tuesday. It said the company was aiming to reduce its overall energy generation by another 1,000 megawatts, quoting supervisory board officials.

The energy giant confirmed in mid-July that it had already mothballed or discontinued installations with a capacity of 12,600 megawatts since the beginning of 2013.

"And every still existing unit is being thoroughly scrutinized," RWE's Matthias Hartung commented back then, adding that the company could not continue operating power plants that just weren't profitable anymore.

Slow realignment process

The Essen-based firm has been suffering from sharply reduced energy prices at the national electricity exchange, with the drop attributable to overcapacities across Europe and state subsidies for electricity generated through renewable sources.

In 2013, RWE logged a net loss for the first time in over six decades as it struggled to digest the consequences of Germany's large-scale energy transition to renewables.

Some 51 percent of the company's electricity generation still comes from lignite and hard coal-fired plants, compared with a meager 6-percent share from renewables.

hg/sgb (AFP, Reuters)

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