Utility giants decide to shut down power plants due to popularity of solar energy 22nd August, 2013 Daniel Birkett
One of Europe’s leading utility companies, RWE is to take 3.1GW of conventional energy production offline due to the recent solar energy ‘boom’.
The firm are to shut down numerous power stations in Germany and Holland that are deemed unprofitable which will reduce the company’s total energy capacity by 6%. RWE are following the lead of E.ON and Finnish firm, Fortum who have also shut down power plants due to the stronghold solar energy currently has on the market.
A spokesperson from RWE said: “Due to the continuing boom in solar energy, many power stations throughout the sector and across Europe are no longer profitable to operate.
“During the first half of 2013, the Conventional Power Generation Division’s operating result fell by almost two-thirds. The massive reduction in power station margins is a major factor in this development.”
They went on to say: “RWE can still benefit from the fact that it sold most of its electricity production two to three years in advance on the forward market at prices that were higher than they are now. However, this effect will decrease year by year.
“After a detailed analysis, the group has decided to take a total of 3,100 MW of generation capacity offline in Germany and the Netherlands. Further power stations are being assessed and all options to improve the company’s economic efficiency are being explored.”
A UK subsidiary of RWE, Npower is also closing a large number of sites over the next five years, trimming their facilities from 26 units to 10. These sites include customer call centres and engineering depots as cuts will be made to streamline the firm’s operations.