The energy group RWE wants to continue to get involved in the environmentally friendly generation of electricity from wind, sun and water. “Our focus is on building a climate-neutral energy supply,” confirmed RWE boss Markus Krebber on Tuesday in Essen. RWE wants to build every project that is possible. “What we earn, we invest in our green transformation.” Internationally, RWE is one of the drivers of the energy transition.

After RWE invested 4.4 billion euros last year, they want to invest significantly more in the current year. Among other things, Krebber announced that RWE would participate in the large German offshore wind power auctions this summer. The company also wants to continue to grow in onshore wind and solar power.

Krebber confirmed RWE’s plans to build hydrogen-capable gas-fired power plants in Germany. RWE also wants to produce green hydrogen itself in Germany. A first electrolyser has been ordered, “although the application for funding is still in Brussels – and has been for a year and a half”. Overall, the EU must become much more pragmatic when it comes to ramping up hydrogen, he said. “The decisions are insanely detailed. And far too complicated. So much so that a lot of funding is not even called up, but stays in the pot.”

Profitable Energy Trading

RWE confirmed the preliminary business figures published at the end of January. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) rose by almost 73 percent compared to 2021 to 6.3 billion euros. RWE cited a very good energy trading business and improved market conditions in electricity generation “in terms of price level and operating times” as reasons for the increases. Among other things, RWE benefited from short-term hydro, biomass and gas power plants to compensate for weak wind conditions. Adjusted net income doubled to more than 3.2 billion euros.

In the current year, according to the forecast, the trading business will amount to a maximum of 600 million euros, only around half of the previous year’s EBITDA. At the same time, however, the Essen-based company expects strong growth in wind and solar. RWE also wants to earn more than 2022 with electricity generation from nuclear energy and lignite, which is no longer part of the core business: Up to 1.2 billion euros Ebitda after 751 million in the previous year. Overall, the adjusted Ebitda profit should be between 5.8 and 6.4 billion euros.

RWE operates one of the last three nuclear power plants in Germany in Lingen, Lower Saxony. Krebber assumes that there will be no extension of the life of the three plants. “The decision is political,” he said. The current situation on the energy markets gives no reason for the political side to seriously consider a change again. “In this respect, we are preparing for the fact that the plant in Emsland will be shut down on April 15th and that it will then be about the orderly dismantling.”

RWE expects to have to give up parts of its profits in Europe and Great Britain this year because of the so-called excess profit tax. For 2022, Müller named an amount of 250 million euros. A higher amount is expected in 2023. In terms of adjusted net income, management expects a significant decline of EUR 2.2 to 2.7 billion compared to 2022, when more than EUR 3.2 billion was generated. The shareholders should be happy one way or another: RWE plans to pay out a dividend of EUR 1.00 per share for this year, after EUR 0.90 for 2022.

At the end of the year, the group employed around 18,300 people worldwide, around 60 more than a year earlier.