Germany’s RWE utility looks to expand investments into solar PV plants

RWE is supposedly looking to invest in solar power plants, citing solar module prices as one of its key determining factors. According to Bloomberg, up until now Germany’s second-biggest utility, which owns a stake in Spain’s Andasol 3 solar thermal power plant, has distanced itself from investing in PV generation because of what it considered too high of a cost for the technology. However, now that prices for solar modules are considerably lower than in the past, the utility is taking a second look.

“[Prices have dropped] dramatically, more than we have expected,” said Hans Buenting, chief financial officer of RWE’s renewable energy unit Innogy. “Now we start to take a look into that. We are looking at more promising countries in Europe rather than in Germany for first projects.”  Bloomberg noted that RWE is “discussing” a pilot project in the Desertec initiative, which aims to build renewable energy plants in north Africa and the Middle East.

As the country begins to shut nuclear reactors, due to Japan’s Fukushima situation, the utility plans to invest US$6.6 billion on renewables, with most of the funds going towards offshore wind farms. However, RWE noted that the country is also reducing solar subsidies, and combined with fewer hours of sunshine, the utility plans to look outside the country for possible solar projects.

PV-Tech Storage Promo

Newsletter

Preview Latest
Subscribe
We won't share your details - promise!

Publications

  • Photovoltaics International 25th Edition

    In this issue we offer some insights into what the next wave of photovoltaic technologies may look like as that upturn gathers pace. Industry observers have been in broad agreement that the major next-gen PV technology innovations won’t happen straight away. But there’s also little doubt that the search is now on in earnest for the breakthroughs that will come to define the state of the art in the industry in the years to come.

  • Manufacturing The Solar Future: The 2014 Production Annual

    Although the past few years have proved extremely testing for PV equipment manufacturers, falling module prices have driven solar end-market demand to previously unseen levels. That demand is now starting to be felt by manufacturers, to the extent that leading companies are starting to talk about serious capacity expansions later this year and into 2015. This means that the next 12 months will be a critical period if companies throughout the supply chain are to take full advantage of the PV industry’s next growth phase.

Partners

Acknowledgements

Solar Media