Handelsblatt Exclusive

EnBW Goes Green

83268843 ENBW nuclear plant
EnBW is already winding down nuclear plants like this one. Coal is next. Picture source: DPA

Germany’s fourth-largest power company, Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW), plans to pull out of fossil fuel electricity, according to an internal strategy paper seen by Handelsblatt, but is stopping short of some of the more aggressive steps taken by rivals.

The company, which has some 22,000 employees and annual sales of €19 billion, aims to position itself as an “innovative infrastructure partner” for its customers, focusing on wind power as well as transport and distribution networks, according to its new “EnBW 2025” plan.

The move follows similar efforts by rivals E.ON, RWE and Vattenfall to offload conventional production and embrace renewables to survive Chancellor Angela Merkel’s energy revolution — the bold bid to wean Europe’s largest economy off fossil fuel by 2050, which has sparked sharp cuts in electricity prices and triggered heavy losses and writedowns for power companies.

But EnBW’s plans are less radical than those of E.ON and RWE, which have each split themselves in two. E.ON created a new company, Uniper, to manage its legacy coal and gas power plants, wholesale trading and gas production activities, leaving E.ON with the fast-growing renewables business. And RWE spun off its renewable business into the new company Innogy.

EnBW CEO Frank Mastiaux, by contrast, plans a gentler revolution.

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