RWE sets itself more ambitious climate targets – CO₂ reductions now in line with 1.5-degree path
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“We are fast-tracking the expansion of renewables and are rigorously implementing our Growing Green strategy. With the purchase of Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, we are strengthening our US portfolio and creating an excellent foundation for additional value-accretive growth. We are also investing massively in new green capacities in Europe. Two thirds of the turbines at our Kaskasi wind farm off Heligoland, for example, are already feeding electricity into the German grid. We are convinced that the faster the energy transition progresses, the sooner we will bring the energy crisis in Europe to an end. RWE is ready to continue investing heavily in an independent and climate-neutral energy system – more than €50 billion by 2030.”
RWE is actively forging ahead with the implementation of its Growing Green strategy. In the first nine months of 2022, the company expanded its green portfolio by 1.3 gigawatts (GW). Projects currently under construction and acquisitions already announced will expand the portfolio by a further 9.4 GW.
That includes the purchase of Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, a leading operator and developer in the area of renewable energy in the US. With this acquisition, RWE is taking over renewables facilities with a capacity of about 3 GW. The transaction marks a milestone in RWE’s growth ambitions in the United States as, once completed, it will make RWE the number 4 renewables company there.
RWE declared to be ready to fully exit from coal by as early as 2030. This creates the basis for the company to now be able to adjust its emission reduction plan to the 1.5-degree path.
Due to the energy crisis, RWE is now temporarily making an additional 2.1 GW of lignite capacity available to bolster security of supply: The company has already brought three plants from lignite reserve back online and will also defer the decommissioning of two further units, which had originally been planned for the end of this year; furthermore the Emsland nuclear power station will produce additional electricity beyond the end of this year until mid-April 2023.
Strong earnings performance in international green core business – decline in German coal and nuclear energy business
Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) at Group level amounted to €4,127 million at the end of the first three quarters of 2022, substantially higher than in the previous year’s period (Q1-Q3 2021: €2,397 million). Adjusted EBIT also improved to €2,965 million (Q1-Q3 2021: €1,339 million). Adjusted net income increased to €2,118 million (Q1-Q3 2021: €1,025 million).
Adjusted EBITDA in the company’s international core business improved in the first nine months of 2022 to €3,494 million (prior-year period: €1,677 million); by contrast, the German coal and nuclear energy business declined.
The positive earnings trend in the company’s core business was driven mainly by three factors: RWE is expanding its renewables portfolio and was thus able to produce 22% more green electricity from its own plants. At the same time, the combination of strong demand and concurrent scarcity of available European generation capacity led to high levels of deployment of RWE’s generation fleet. This was accompanied by an unusually strong international trading performance. In addition, the prior-year result was burdened by a negative one-off effect.
RWE confirms the outlook for the current fiscal year published in July 2022 (see table below). The dividend target of €0.90 per share for fiscal 2022 remains unchanged.
Offshore Wind: Adjusted EBITDA in the Offshore Wind segment in the first nine months of 2022 was €859 million, compared to €656 million for the prior-year period. This increase in earnings was due to the commissioning of new capacities as well as higher wind levels compared to the previous year.
Onshore Wind/Solar: In the first three quarters of 2022, adjusted EBITDA in the Onshore Wind/Solar segment reached €649 million. Here, too, additional capacity and more favourable wind conditions had a positive impact. The prior-year result of €36 million took a substantial hit of approximately €400 million as a result of the extreme weather in Texas.
Hydro/Biomass/Gas: Adjusted EBITDA in the Hydro/Biomass/Gas segment increased considerably to €1,164 million (previous year: €430 million). This was mainly the result of higher earnings from short-term asset optimisation and higher international generation margins.
Supply & Trading: At €942 million, earnings from Supply & Trading exceeded the previous year’s already very strong result of €609 million. This result was achieved across almost all commodities and regions in a volatile market environment.
RWE earns less in German coal and nuclear energy business
Adjusted EBITDA in the Coal/Nuclear segment was €633 million, compared to €720 million for the same period in the previous year. The decrease in earnings was the result of declining production following power plant closures. RWE had also sold forward the electricity production from its German lignite and nuclear power stations before the onset of the current energy crisis.
Robust financial situation and strong investment activity
As at the reporting date of 30 September 2022, the Group’s net debt amounted to €360 million (net assets as at 31 December 2021: €360 million). One of the main reasons for the increase in net debt was the company’s strong investment activity. In the first nine months of 2022, RWE invested a total of €3.1 billion globally in its core business, with a focus on the expansion of renewables. This does not yet include the acquisition of Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses.
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