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RWE’s lignite-powered energy plant Fortuna Niederaussem, west of Cologne, Germany.
RWE’s lignite-powered energy plant Fortuna Niederaussem, west of Cologne, Germany.
(ARND WIEGMANN/REUTERS)

BREAKINGVIEWS

German green policy sapping RWE’s powers

Reuters Breakingviews delivers agenda-setting financial insight. Its global correspondents react to stories as they develop, delivering sharp and provocative commentary on big financial news as it breaks.

RWE has managed a rare thing: It is a leading German utility that has surprised on the upside. Not only did it exceed its profitability targets for 2012 by 10 per cent, it also said it wanted to sell its oil and gas unit. It is a move that will generate about €4-billion ($5.3-billion) of cash – and obviate the need to invest in expensive exploration.