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Report: RWE to receive €2B to shut German lignite capacity

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Report: RWE to receive €2B to shut German lignite capacity

German utility RWE AG will receive around €2 billion in state compensation for shutting down 2.5 GW of lignite coal power capacity in the country by 2022, Reuters reported on Jan. 10, citing government and industry sources.

As part of the government's proposals, the company could also get an additional €700 million to fund the early retirement of around 3,000 employees affected by the closures.

Shareholders reacted positively to the news, with RWE's share price hitting its highest level since October 2014 on Jan. 10. RWE had initially asked for €1.5 billion per gigawatt closed but reports last year said the company and its peers would receive only a fraction of that — a total of €1 billion for the closure of 5 GW of German lignite capacity.

German lawmakers are in the process of paving the way for the country's phaseout of coal power, planned for 2038 at the latest. Disagreement over the way forward in boosting renewables capacity prevails simultaneously, with new legislation slated for March.

German newspaper Rheinische Post had reported on Jan. 8 that another utility, Uniper SE, is considering offering the government a deal to shutter its remaining coal plants in the country or convert them to gas in exchange for letting its long-delayed Datteln 4 hard coal plant open.