Rwe warns of electricity bottleneck and sets course for savings

Rwe warns of electricity bottleneck and sets course for savings

"The whole continent is manoving into a critical situation in the long term."One of the reasons for this is the announced closure of coal and gas-fired power plants, which have become increasingly unprofitable due to the rapid expansion of renewable energies and falling prices on the electricity exchange.

According to a report in the "handelsblatt" (wednesday edition), the group is allegedly facing a radical reorganization. So the company is to be completely geared to the energy turnaround. The newspaper referred to a confidential paper with the title "RWE corporate story". A company spokeswoman did not wish to comment on the matter. According to the newspaper, the group only plans to invest in renewable energies ? And no more investment in new fossil-fuel power plants. At the same time, terium intends to develop business models for decentralized energy in the sales and distribution network.

RWE’s business is in danger of collapsing due to the problems in conventional power generation. "Our earnings will drop dramatically," predicted the ceo in the newspaper interview. That’s why the company, which employs 70,000 people and generates annual sales of around 50 billion euros, has to step up its game with a new savings program. Terium’s main aim is to reduce costs, cut back on investments and cushion the impact on profits in new business areas. "Our business is becoming more decentralized," he said.

The tightening of the savings rate triggered criticism from employees. "Announcing the next savings program even before one has been implemented certainly does not inspire confidence in the far-sightedness of management," michael vassiliadis, chairman of the trade union IGBCE, told the "westdeutsche allgemeine zeitung" (wednesday). At the same time, he also criticized the RWE boss’s warnings of a blackout. "Those who expose themselves to the suspicion of energy policy fear-mongering do not gain credibility".

In recent months, other generators in addition to the essen-based company have announced that they will take capacity off the grid. The federal network agency currently has applications for the closure of 28 power plant units with a total of almost 7000 megawatts. Transmission system operators have classified five of these plants as system-relevant. According to the report, its shutdown is not possible. However, the companies will receive compensation for holding the capacity needed to compensate for possible days of weak wind and sun.

RWE had already announced in mid august that it would take around 3100 megawatts of conventional generation off the grid by 2016. In europe, some 10,000 megawatts are also under critical scrutiny. RWE’s withdrawal from nuclear energy alone will have an impact of 4000 megawatts by 2022.

A spokesman for the federal ministry of economics in berlin rejected warnings of an imminent blackout: "the supply of electricity in germany is secure. This applies in particular to the coming winter and also to extreme situations."

Shutting down conventional power plants is not a problem of the energy transition, but its goal, a greenpeace spokeswoman commented on the newspaper’s report. RWE once again voices exaggerated fears of power outages. The company is only interested in further subsidies for climate-damaging coal-fired power plants.

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