Wind drives EnBW's renewables profit

GERMANY: Utility and developer EnBW recorded an increased operating profit (Ebitda) within its renewable energy segment due to an expanded and more productive wind portfolio.

Higher output from EnBW's 288MW Baltic 2 compensated for a difficult year for its hydropower projects

It recorded Ebitda of €331.7 million in its renewable energy division in 2017, an increase of 12.3% year-on-year from 2016’s operating profit of €295.3 million.

This was despite lower water levels in rivers meaning its hydropower plants produced less electricity and selling hydropower at lower prices, the company stated.

However, EnBW increased its portfolio of operational onshore wind farms by 204MW last year and recorded higher output from its 48.3MW Baltic 1 and 288MW Baltic 2 offshore projects. The company did not state what this output was.

It also sold 49.89% stakes in the 497MW Hohe See offshore wind project and the 112MW Albatros site to Canadian infrastructure company Enbridge in 2017.

Overall, the group recorded its first increase in adjusted Ebitda since 2010, with operating profit rising 8.9% from €1.93 billion in 2016 to €2.11 billion last year.

EnBW also operates coal, gas, and nuclear plants, as well as solar and hydropower projects.

It is targeting to grow the renewables business to account for 40% (up from 12% in 2013) of its total power generation by 2040.

"The success of our restructuring is reflected in the earnings structure. Renewable energy, networks and sales now provide over 80 percent of the overall result," said EnBW chief financial officer Thomas Kusterer.

"This shows how deeply we have changed our portfolio since the beginning of our realignment mid-2013 and consistently focused on the opportunities of the energy transition," Kusterer added.

At the end of 2017, renewable energy facilities accounted for approximately 26% of its installed capacity, the company stated.