Thursday, 14 October 2010

RWE, Scottish & Southern Lack Cash to Meet Climate Targets, Citigroup Says

European utilities including Scottish & Southern Energy Plc and RWE AG will
struggle to invest the 938 billion euros ($1.27 trillion) needed to meet
climate change targets and replace aging power plants and networks by 2020,
according to Citigroup Inc. "Governments in Europe appear to believe that the utility sector can more
than double its historic capital expenditure and sustain that for ten
years," Citigroup analysts led by Peter Atherton and Manuel Palomo said
today in a note to investors. "Many governments are ignoring the facts on
the ground and taking no account of their own actions." Utilities in Germany, France, Spain, the U.K. and Italy will face a
financing shortage of about 277 billion euros as they seek to replace
nuclear reactors, build new gas-fired power plants and invest in offshore
wind projects, the analysts said. Total spending of 653 billion euros will
"stretch the sector balance sheets to the limits," they said. The 27-nation European Union aims to more than double the share of energy
from renewable sources, including wind and solar power, to an average 20
percent by 2020. Many of the continent's power stations and electricity
networks were built in the 1960s and 1970s and need to be replaced, the
analysts said. The average age of a combined-cycle gas turbine power plant
is 33 years in the U.K. and 30 years in Germany, they said.

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