Innogy CEO Uwe Tigges has stressed the importance of not only moving away from coal but pushing towards a “new energy age”.
Addressing shareholders at the firm’s AGM earlier this week, Tigges named e-mobility, smart grids and innovations as key areas for achieving this transition.
E-mobility has long been part of innogy’s agenda, with a dedicated eMobility unit launching in 2016, though this announcement suggests the unit may play a larger role in innogy’s strategy going forward, with Tigges describing it as a “key area of future interest”.
Innogy’s Innovation Hub, meanwhile, has ramped up its investment activity, and recently toasted a 50% expansion of its portfolio.
Tigges also acknowledged the current struggles of the UK energy market but said they are “a reality [innogy will] not ignore”.
This comes after a deal to merge innogy’s UK energy supplier npower with SSE fell through last year. Citing Ofgem’s price cap as a barrier to the deal, Tigges said the “drastically worsened outlook” would have required substantial extra financing.
“The failure of this transaction and the fact that, as a consequence, we had to reincorporate our UK retail business in our accounts, impacted on innogy’s result. In December, we accordingly had to adjust our forecast result for fiscal 2018 downwards,” he said.
Innogy expects a further decline in earning for npower in the current fiscal year. However, it is not alone in taking a financial hit, with Tigges claiming Ofgem expects five of the ‘big six’ to post losses or generate lower profits in 2019.
Last year, it was announced that innogy would be taken over by E.On in an asset swap between E.On and RWE.