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RWE to Sell German Biomass in Absence of Government Support
Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) — RWE AG, Germany’s second-biggest utility, plans to sell its remaining three biomass power stations in the country as the political framework doesn’t provide enough support for large-scale bio-energy plants.
The facilities, which mainly use wood to produce power, have a combined electrical capacity of 45 megawatts and a thermal capacity of 193 megawatts, Konrad Boecker, a spokesman for Essen-based RWE, said by phone. They will be for sale “in the near future,” he said.
“This year we’re still investing one billion euros ($1.3 billion) across Europe in renewable energy but nonetheless the situation for utility companies in Europe isn’t as bright as it has been before,” Boecker said. “This is part of our strategy to focus and raise money by selling some projects to re-invest in more profitable areas which for us is on- and offshore wind and hydro.”
RWE sold its share in two other biomass power stations with a combined electric capacity of about 19 megawatts last week. It disposed of its 80 percent stake in a facility in northwest Germany and its 51 percent share in a plant in Kehl, southern Germany, to Koehler Renewable Energy GmbH.
The political framework in Germany is focused more on small-scale biomass projects, Boecker said. Projects of below 5 megawatts are eligible to receive tariffs of about 11 euro cents a kilowatt-hour to 14 euro cents a kilowatt-hour this year. Projects above 5 megawatts are eligible for just 5.88 euro cents a kilowatt-hour.
RWE had planned to build and operate large-scale facilities. “In the end, it wasn’t a very effective business in Germany for us and we decided to sell those power plants,” according to Boecker.
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