E.ON: Solar sees EUR200 million of EUR10 billion renewables investment

On the back of upgrades to a 302 MW offshore wind farm in the North Sea, E.ON has seen its net investments in renewables pushed over the €10 billion mark thus, it says, making it the biggest investor of its kind in Germany.

Speaking to pv magazine, a spokesman says solar plays a "really minor" role in E.ON’s renewables business, with around 2% of the €10 billion going into solar investments. He explains this is because the utility mainly builds projects in the U.S. before selling them on, due to the tax advantages available there.

He went on to say E.ON has a solar project pipeline of 1 GW in the U.S. comprised of utility-scale projects, usually around 30 MW each. They will be built step-by-step, as it makes sense, continued the spokesman.

E.ON is also active in the German solar market. Here, however, the utility primarily works in the rooftop residential sector, although it has won a few projects under the country’s tender system.

E.ON established its renewables arm in 2007 and, at the end of 2014, announced plans to spin off its fossil fuel generating assets. Although its solar segment is comparably small, it is still a key focus for the utility. In an interview with pv magazine last August, Franco Gola, Head of Energy Solutions PV at E.ON Germany stated that it is both "important" and "profitable."

Most recently, E.ON acquired Germany-based solar company, Reniva GmbH. As part of the deal, Reniva MD, Manfred Baechler and around 10 former Reniva staffers will join E.ON this month. The new team will oversee operation and maintenance for solar PV plants. Read more about the news, in German, on pv magazine Deutschland.