RWE’s renewables unit returns to profitability, company invests US$2 billion in H1  

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RWE’s extra capacity in H1 and favourable wind conditions meant it generated 20% more power than the same period last year. Image: RWE

German energy company RWE’s onshore renewables business has undergone a dramatic change in fortunes on 2021, with 1H 2022 seeing the unit return to profitability following a poor H1 2021 performance, while during the first half of the year the company invested €2 billion (US$2.04 billion) in the expansion of its green portfolio.

Essen, Germany-based RWE saw its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in its onshore renewables unit soar to €491 million (US$499 million) in H1 2022, a significant rise on the €42 million loss it made in H1 2021, which it put to extreme weather events in Texas.

The company’s other renewable units performed strongly while its income from coal fell, although it raked in a substantial amount still.

RWE had an adjusted EBITDA of €2,357 million (US$2,399 million) for its ‘Core Business’ that excludes its coal and nuclear operations, which collectively brought in more than €500 million in H1, meaning the group’s EBITDA was €2,858 million.

Meanwhile, in the first half of the year, RWE invested nearly €2 billion into its renewables portfolio and is expecting that number to rise to a total of €5 billion by the end of the year.

It commissioned new wind farms, solar projects and battery energy storage systems (BESS) with a total net installed capacity of roughly 1.2GW, the company said, adding that the increased capacity and more favourable wind conditions saw it generate 20% more power in H1 than the same period last year.

“This year alone we are investing more than €5 billion in expanding our green portfolio, which is about 30% more than originally planned,” said Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE. “We are investing in offshore and onshore wind, solar, batteries and in ramping up the hydrogen economy.”

The company said it currently has 4.8GW of projects under construction and will also acquire the hydrogen-ready 1.4GW Magnum power station in the Netherlands.

Indeed, at the end of July prior to its H1 earning results, RWE raised its outlook for 2022, citing a “positive earnings trend in the international core business”. It is now expecting its core business to have an adjusted EBITDA between €4.3 billion and €4.8 billion for 2022, while adjusted net income is expected to reach €2.1 billion to €2.6 billion at year-end.

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