RWE Innogy slashes renewables investment 2015-2017

GERMANY: RWE Innogy is slashing investment in renewable energies to €1 billion over the three years 2015-2017, said company CEO Hans Bünting. RWE spent the same amount on renewables in 2014 alone.

RWE Innogy CEO Hans Bunting announced the cuts to renewables spending
RWE Innogy CEO Hans Bunting announced the cuts to renewables spending

With parent company RWE weighed down by heavy debts, RWE Innogy continues to pursue the strategy it begun in 2014. Dubbed "capital-light", it involves partnering with other companies on projects to reduce its capital investment commitment.

Up to €150 million of the 2015-2017 annual average of about €300 million available will be spent on expanding RWE Innogy's onshore wind portfolio, he said. Offshore and onshore wind remain the most favoured renewables.

In 2014, RWE commissioned 595MW of renewables capacity, including 530MW onshore and offshore wind. The lion's share was accounted for by 425MW from the Gwynt y Môr offshore project in the UK.

In 2015, the remaining 151MW of Gwynt y Môr will come online along with German project Nordsee Ost (295MW) adding up to 446MW and raising RWE's total offshore capacity to 1GW, making it the third largest offshore wind operator, Bünting said.

RWE onshore projects under way in 2015, include the 29MW Königshovener Höhe II German project, now under construction and due for commissioning in 2015, in which it holds 49%. Other projects include the Polish 17MW Opalenica project and Enerco's 23MW Burn of Whilk project in the UK, both under constructionand due online this year, and the 90MW Dutch Zuidwester repowering project using 7.5MW turbines and expected fully online in 2017. Together these add up to 159MW.

RWE expects to take investment decisions this year on another 150MW of onshore projects: a Polish project to expand the Nowy Staw wind farm by 28MW, the French 10MW Kattenberg project, and the German 11.5MW Sandbostel wind farm, as well as around 40MW of other German projects. The company has two projects in the UK awaiting final investment decisions, at Goole Fields 2 with 42.5MW and Batsworthy Cross with 18MW.

In offshore, the final investment decision is pending to proceed with the 330MW Nordsee One project (RWE-share 15%) in Germany, with start of construction planned for 2016.

RWE is also pursuing a handful of hydro and biomass projects, but is not investing in new solar power projects.

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