EOn on investment and climate

06 May 2009

Despite the economic situation, EOn is to continue its investments across Europe to the tune of €30 billion by 2011. The company is calling for a global carbon system to guide such spending.


The Germany-based utility is going to postpone some investments, it said, amounting to some €6 billion ($8 billion). The projects this affects "will only be delayed" EOn said after confirming that the far larger sum of €30 billion ($39 billion) would still be spent, with one third of that going into a comprehensive update of generation assets.


Renewable projects are not to be affected by the reduction in spending - the €6 billion investments allocated to them before the crisis for the period to 2010 will still be made. EOn plans to have about 4000 MWe of renewable capacity by 2010 and about 10,000 by 2015.


Isar 2 turbine hall (EOn)
The turbine hall of Isar 2, where EOn will generate 1400 MWe of
low-carbon power until its political shutdown in 2020 (Image: EOn)


The company is "committed to developing efficient, clean coal-fired power plants" and will be spending on "highly efficient coal-fired and gas-fired power plants in Germany and the UK, which will replace older facilities." Further into the future, EOn is planning to share 6000 MWe of new British nuclear capacity with RWE. It is also looking favourably on Italy's emerging nuclear market.


To help it guide such investments to make the greatest impact on carbon emissions, EOn has spoken out for a universal market-based carbon regime to emerge from UN climate talks at Copenhagen in December.


"Prerequisites would be clear emission caps, a common carbon trading system and a phased scheme for auctioning carbon allowances that is equally applicable to all industrialised countries and emerging economies as well as all major greenhouse gas emitting sectors of industry."


"Investment in climate protection should be as effective as possible," EOn explained, "we have to succeed in achieving the maximum in terms of CO2 avoidance for each euro or dollar spent."


In line with this, EOn called for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Joint Implementation to be expanded, simplified and strengthened as "the most effective mechanisms of cutting greenhouse gases." Nuclear power projects are currently excluded from the CDM, meaning that countries with reduction commitments cannot invest in nuclear projects as a way to reduce emissions from other countries. A World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) report last year called for there to be no exclusions from the scheme.


EOn also advised for Germany and Europe to develop an integrated climate and energy strategy to provide long-term surety for investment. The company concluded that "without nuclear energy - in particular without German nuclear energy - Europe won't reach its ambitious climate protection targets."