RWE chief says company won’t split

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The chief executive of RWE Power Generation, Matthias Hartung, says that the company will not be dividing in two in an attempt to cope with the market conditions that have dogged European utilities in recent years.

Speaking to a gathering of politicians and industry executives at Schloss Paffendorf in Bergheim on Monday evening, Mr Hartung also said lignite coal power could not be done without, if German energy security is to be preserved.

E.ON announced a new corporate strategy and just such a split a week ago but, without referring to his nearest competitor, Hartung assured his audience his firm won’t be following suit.

Matthias Hartung "We clearly rejected ideas for a split two years ago," he said, adding that RWE will continue its lignite power business beyond 2030, citing its role in maintaining affordability of electricity and security of supply in case of "windless and faint times".

"Security of supply must get the price deserved," Hartung said, referring to the need for a capacity market, before adding that he is optimistic for the future of RWE despite the crisis.

To reinforce his view on the approach that should be taken to energy, Hartung pointed to a study initiated by RWE, the main thrust of which was that for the majority of the generation in the 30 plus bracket, social and career growth are more of a priority than an overriding commitment to the energy revolution, or energiewende, at all costs.

“For this generation economic growth is essential. 68 percent of respondents are concerned that electricity will no longer be affordable in the future. They also feared for jobs.”

"What can we learn about energy policy from this study?" said Hartung. “An energy revolution with sound judgment should be the goal. It’s about climate, economy and social growth. Social growth is equally important.”

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