EnBW Feels Low Winds

German energy company EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG has recorded an operating result (adjusted EBITDA) of EUR 215.6 million in the Renewable Energies segment in the first nine months of 2018,  a 4.1% decrease compared to the previous year.

The slide was attributed to lower wind farm yields, most of all at offshore installations. Offshore wind speeds in the first nine months of this year were significantly below the long-term average used for planning purposes, EnBW said.

This shortfall was not fully offset by the onshore wind farms brought into operation last year and the slight increase in run-of-river power generation this spring, the company said.

Persistent low river levels also mean that run-of-river yields are expected to decrease further in the fourth quarter. In light of this, the full-year earnings forecast for the Renewable Energies segment has been revised from +10% to +20% to –10% to +5%.

Overall, EnBW closed the first nine months of the 2018 financial year with a slight year-on-year increase in earnings. The company generated revenue of some EUR 17.4 billion, a 13.4% increase, and an adjusted EBITDA of some EUR 1.57 billion. This corresponds to 3.3% earnings growth compared with the same period a year earlier. At the same time, EnBW has once again confirmed its full-year guidance of 0% to 5% growth in the operating result compared with 2017.

“A cause of concern for us this year in particular, however, is something we cannot influence: the weather,” said EnBW's CFO Thomas Kusterer.

“Currently, low river levels and weak wind conditions are having a negative impact on our business. We stick to our earnings forecast for the current financial year. But whether we finish more towards the upper end of our earnings corridor thanks to our good performance or possibly more towards the lower end is not least down to whether the unfavourable meteorological conditions continue.”

The EnBW Group stepped up gross capital expenditure in the first nine months of 2018 relative to the previous year. This mainly related to the expansion of electricity grids, VNG’s stake in the European gas pipeline link (EUGAL), and the Hohe See and Albatros offshore wind farms. Some 78% of total capital expenditure was therefore accounted for by growth projects, while replacement expenditure accounted for approximately 22%.

EnBW operates the 336MW EnBW Baltic 1 and Baltic 2 offshore wind farms in Germany and is currently constructing the Hohe See and the Albatros wind farms with a capacity of 610MW. The He Dreiht offshore wind farm with a capacity of 900MW is due to be placed into operation by 2025 and will not require any subsidies.

EnBW plans to invest more than EUR 5 billion by 2025 in the further expansion of renewable energies. Alongside Germany, the company is focused on selected foreign markets in the Asia-Pacific region – such as Taiwan – and in North America.