E.ON looks west

E.ON is strategically focusing on the US in a bid to develop its renewable power business.

The company is to conclude the split of its power unit next year and plans to expand its solar and wind business in the United States.

The German company is seeking to capitalise on President Barack Obama's pledge to promote renewables in a bid to fight climate change, seen as a key initiative ahead of global climate talks in Paris in December.
Michael Lewis E.ON
"If we want to achieve global climate targets, then the U.S. has to take a key role and Obama is doing that now with the clean energy initiative that he has set up," Michael Lewis, chief operating officer of E.ON Climate & Renewables, told Reuters in an interview.

E.ON is spinning off its fossil-fuel-based power plants, energy trading unit and oil and gas activities into a separate unit, Uniper, in 2016 in response to the downturn in fortunes of the sector in Europe. E.ON's renewables business accounted for 10 per cent of core profit last year and has 4.5 GW of mostly wind capacity.

"We have around 10 GW of pipeline projects and that's split between North America (about 60 per cent) and Europe (about 40 per cent),"

About 1 GW was in solar in the United States, he added.

He said E.ON would maintain its geographical focus on Europe and North America for now, but added the group was keeping a close eye on fast-growing renewable markets such as India as well as China, which he described as "difficult".

The company intends to spend around EUR1bn a year on renewables.

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