RWE Group

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RWE is one of Europe’s five leading electricity and gas companies and is the No. 1 power producer in Germany, No. 2 in the Netherlands and No. 3 in the UK. The company is also expanding in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe. [1]

RWE has 72,000 employees; it supplies almost 17 million customers with electricity and nearly 8 million customers with gas. In the financial year 2011-12 the company generated just below €52 billion in revenue. RWE says it is one of Europe’s biggest investors in offshore wind farms. [2] RWE Group had an electricity generating capacity of 49.2GW in the financial year 2011-12 generating 205.7 billion kWh.

Seven divisions

RWE Group is divided into seven main divisions based on geographic and functional criteria:

RWE Germany: including RWE Power, Germany’s largest electricity generator, which generates electricity mainly from coal, gas and nuclear fuel. Lignite is produced by RWE Power through in-house mining activities; also including RWE Deutschland which oversees sales and distribution network operations.

Netherlands/Belgium: By acquiring Essent with effect from 30 September 2009, RWE has become a leading energy utility in the Benelux region. Essent generates electricity from gas, hard coal and biomass and holds a minority stake in Borssele, the only nuclear power station in the Netherlands.

RWE npower: Is the UK’s third largest energy utility. The company generates electricity from gas, hard coal, oil and biomass. Furthermore, RWE npower sells electricity and gas to end-customers.

RWE East: This division contains companies in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Turkey.

RWE Innogy: This division specialises in electricity and heat production from renewable sources.

RWE Dea: This division produces gas and oil, focusing on Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Egypt.

RWE Supply & Trading: This division is responsible for our energy trading activities and most of our gas midstream business. Furthermore, the division supplies major German industrial and corporate customers with electricity and gas. [3]

Nuclear operator

RWE generated 34.3 billion KWh of electricity from nuclear power stations in the financial year 2011-12, compared with 45.2 the year before. All the nuclear stations are in Germany.

RWE Power has been operating nuclear power stations since the beginning of the 1960s. It owns the Biblis nuclear power plant, which is home to two PWRs [Biblis A – 1167MW opened in 1974 and Biblis B – 1240MW opened in 1976]. Both these reactors were shut after the March 2011 Fukushima accident.

RWE also owns 87.5% of the Emsland nuclear power station (the other 12.5% is owned by Eon) which has a 1329MW PWR which opened in 1988. Under the German nuclear phase-out Emsland is due to close in 2022.

Finally RWE owns 75% of the Gundremmingen nuclear power facility (25% Eon) which houses 2 BWRs (Gundremmingen B – 1284MW and Gundremmingen C – 1288MW – commercial operation started in 1984 and 1985 respectively). Under the German phase-out these reactors are due to close in 2017 and 2021 respectively.

Altogether this gives RWE an installed nuclear capacity of some 3901MW. [4]

The disposal of radioactive waste (low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste) and the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel (high-level radioactive waste) are overseen and controlled by the relevant regulatory authorities. Radioactive by-products are taken to authorised interim storage facilities. Spent fuel rods generally spend several years in the power station’s own spent fuel pool and are then stored in a “castor” storage container on the power station premises, pending the provision of an authorised final repository. [5]

Nuclear in the U.K.

In January 2009 RWE npower formed a joint venture with E.ON UK, called Horizon Nuclear Power, with the aim of developing up to 6600 MW of new nuclear power station capacity at Wylfa on Anglesey and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. [6] Three years later, following the conclusion of separate strategic reviews in March 2012, both E.ON and RWE announced their intention to withdraw from UK nuclear and seek new owners for Horizon. [7]

In July 2012 it emerged that RWE had colluded with government officials to soften the impact of their withdrawal from Horizon on the UK’s new nuclear programme. [8]

RWE and Renewables

By 2020 RWE wants at least 20 % of its generation capacity to be accounted for by renewables. At the end of 2011 they accounted for 8% of RWE’s capacity. RWE’s Chief Executive designate Peter Terium told journalists in June 2012 that the company is pulling out of nuclear because “the financial risk is no longer acceptable and is unreasonable for our shareholders”. He also said the company plans to suspend until further notice any fossil-fuelled power plants because of uncertainty over the German energy policy. [9]

RWE’s renewables generating capacity rose from some 2,500 MW at the end of 2009 to 3,744 MW at the close of 2011. Expansion of renewable energy mainly by RWE Innogy should be generating a total of 4,500 MW by the end of 2014. RWE Innogy is currently developing renewables projects with a total output of 13,900 MW. RWE says offshore wind energy holds the greatest potential for expansion over the next few years. Current capacity amounting to 150 MW in operation will be increased by a further 892 MW at Gwynt y Môr (Wales), Greater Gabbard (Suffolk) and North Sea East (Germany).

RWE currently has group-wide biomass capacity of more than 1,100 MW, including in the UK the Tilbury power plant which was converted to run entirely on biomass at the end of 2011. Tilbury is now one of the world’s biggest biomass plants with a capacity of 742 MW. According to RWE the wood is from sustainable sources, mainly from an RWE wood pellet factory in Georgia (USA).

RWE has a 12.8% stake in the Andasol 3 solar thermal power station in Southern Spain which will come on stream in 2012. It hopes that this will help with future projects in North Africa run by the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII). DII was established in 2009 by 20 companies including RWE and 35 other partners from a total of 14 countries are participating. [10]

RWE npower

RWE npower joined the RWE Group in 2002. It operates and manages an installed capacity of about 12 GW generating about 10% of the electricity consumed in the UK. It supplies just over 6.6 million customers with electricity and gas, corresponding to a share of approximately 13% of the market. In November 2010 RWE commissioned Staythorpe, a 1,650 MW combined cycle gas fired power station. In 2012 another gas-fired power station, (2,188 MW), will go online at Pembroke. [11]


RWE is a member of the European Atomic Forum (Foratom)

Executive Board

Peter Terium Chief Executive Officer of RWE AG

Dr Rolf Martin Schmitz Deputy CEO of RWE AG

Dr Rolf Pohlig RWE AG Board Member

Dr Leonhard Birnbaum RWE AG Board Member

Alwin Fitting RWE AG Board Member

Dr Bernard Gunther RWE AG Board Member

Volker Beckers RWE npower CEO

Dr Frank Weigand RWE npower Chief Financial Officer

Kevin McCullough RWE npower Chief Operating Officer

Paul Massara RWE npower Chief Commercial Officer

Alison Cole RWE npower Director of Communications

PR and lobbying

  • [PPS Group]] and Rosemary Grogan provided public affairs consultancy services for RWE Npower Renewables up to May 2012. [12]

Weber Shandwick - provided public affairs consultancy services for RWE Npower up to May 2012. [13]

  • FTI Consulting were listed as providing public relations services by the register of consultant lobbyists in 2015. [14]


  1. Short facts about RWE , undated, RWE website, accessed 3rd September 2012.
  2. The RWE Group, undated, RWE website, accessed 3rd September 2012.
  3. RWE: Starting new chapters – Annual Report 2011, accessed 3rd September 2012.
  4. Nuclear Power in Germany, World Nuclear Association Country Briefing August 2012, accessed 3rd September 2012.
  5. Nuclear power stations, undated, RWE website, accessed 3rd September 2012.
  6. Horizon Nuclear Power website, undated, accessed 3rd September 2012.
  7. RWE npower announces strategic review of Horizon nuclear power, RWE Press Release 29th March 2012, accessed 3rd September 2012.
  8. Rob Edwards, Emails reveal UK Government's moves to protect nuclear power from bad news, Guardian, 19th July 2012, accessed 3rd September 2012.
  9. Ross, K. RWE quits nuclear and puts all fossil fuel plants on hold, Power Engineering International 18th June 2012, accessed 3rd September 2012.
  10. Renewables, undated, RWE website, accessed 4th Sept 2012.
  11. Facts and Figures 2011, undated RWE website, accessed 4th September 2012.
  12. Association of Professional Political Consultants, APPC Register Entry for 1 Mar 2012 to 31 May 2012
  13. Association of Professional Political Consultants, APPC Register Entry for 1 Mar 2012 to 31 May 2012
  14. FTI Consulting profile 2016,, accessed 29 April 2016