RWE’s Innogy Renewables Unit to Cut Almost Half of Jobs

RWE AG’s Innogy renewables unit plans to cut almost half of its jobs as the German utility scales back clean-energy spending to curb debt.

The job cuts will be made by 2016, Jagna Jera, a spokeswoman, said today by telephone from Innogy’s headquarters in Essen. The unit is also seeking partners for its Nordsee-1 offshore wind farm, she said.

RWE, the largest power producer in Germany, said in March it would cut renewables investment by half to about 500 million euros ($676 million) annually from 2014 in a bid to reduce debt and buoy earnings. Innogy will lose staff from the current 1,500 and sell 75 percent of Nordsee-1, Handelsblatt reported today.

RWE’s decision to curb investment contrasts with plans by Germany’s government to replace nuclear plants with clean energy such as solar, wind and biomass. The country is seeking to raise the share of renewables to at least 35 percent of power output by the end of the decade from about 23 percent now. It also plans to add 25 gigawatts of offshore wind turbines by 2030.

Innogy will give details of partners at Nordsee-1, as well as the size of their stakes, at the start of 2014, Jera said. The wind farm is 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the North Sea island of Juist.

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