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E.ON and Enel are latest to suffer from European power crisis as renewables surge


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E.ON and Enel are latest to suffer from European power crisis as renewables surge

E.ON, Germany’s largest utility, is to shut a quarter of its power plants and cut costs.

It has also halved the dividend paid to shareholders for 2013 and said core profits this year will decline.

Power generators across Europe have been taken by surprise by a surge in output from renewable energy sources, mainly solar and wind.

That has made many gas and coal-fired thermal plants redundant and caused wholesale power prices to slump.

Its profits jumped by more than a quarter in Britain, which it said was due to cold weather, not price hikes.

The shift to renewables also hit Italy’s biggest utility Enel, which owns over 92 percent of Spanish group Endesa.

It plans to shut plants in its home market and Spain. It is also cutting its share dividend payouts.

The crisis caused French group GDF Suez to take a 15 billion euro charge on its power business this month, while E.ON’s German rival RWE posted its first net loss since 1949.

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