German energy company RWE AG (ETR:RWE) plans to spend EUR 50 billion (USD 57.22bn) gross by the end of the decade in a bid to double its net green energy generation capacity to 50 GW.
Under the 'Growing Green' strategy, unveiled on Monday, RWE aims to add an average of 2.5 GW of renewable energy capacity annually with a focus on Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Until now, the target for annual capacity additions was 1.5 GW. The expansion drive will require EUR 5 billion in gross annual investments in offshore and onshore wind, solar, batteries, flexible generation and hydrogen.
RWE's onshore wind and solar capacity is projected to grow to 20 GW by 2030 from currently 7 GW and the focus will be on Europe and North America. Solar plays a leading role in the strategy with installed capacity targeted to rise to 8 GW from 1 GW.
By the end of the decade, the Essen-based energy major aims to triple its offshore wind capacity to 8 GW from 2.4 GW primarily in Europe, North America and Asia and reach 2 GW of electrolyser capacity for green hydrogen production.
The battery storage business is also set to grow fivefold to 3 GW. The company is now working on projects in this field totalling 0.6 GW.
The green investment push is expected to double RWE's adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the core business to EUR 5 billion at the end of the decade.
The largest part of the investment programme will be funded from the cash flow while the low debt level gives the company financial leeway to raise more fresh capital.
Despite the massive investments in green energy, RWE remained silent on the future of its coal operations, which were one of the group's growth drivers in the first nine months of this year, and said only that its coal-fired activities will contribute to a smaller extent to the operating result as of 2023.
The lack of a plan for an exit from lignite activities drew criticism from significant minority shareholder Enkraft Capital GmbH once again.
"The increased investment target for renewables is positive, however it will only create value for RWE when the company is no longer burdened by the winding down of its lignite operations. It must be the primary strategic objective of the Executive Board to find a way to quickly disengage from the lignite activities," Enkraft's managing director Benedikt Kormaier said in an emailed statement.
Anna is a DACH expert when it comes to covering business news and spotting trends. She has also built a deep understanding of Middle Eastern markets and has helped expand Renewables Now's reach into this hot region.