Germany’s RWE Innogy has decided to cut its investment in renewable energy as its debts continue to mount.

The company will spend €1bn between 2015 and 2017, down from its usual budget of €1bn per year for the renewable energy sector. It’s the first time since 2008 that investment has dropped that low in green power for Germany’s second largest utility.

The decision is being made amid dark times for the company in general, its debt having risen to €31bn ($36.7bn).
Hans Buenting
Europe’s power sector has been hit by a sluggish economy, low wholesale prices and a surge in demand for cleaner renewable energy which is replacing gas and coal-fired power plants.

RWE Innogy, which said it would forge ahead with renewable energy projects in Germany, Britain, the Netherlands as well as in eastern Europe, expects its operating profit to fall in 2014 from the 196 million euros registered in 2013.

This year and next, profits are expected to rise mainly due to the fact that offshore wind parks Gwynt y Mor and Nordsee Ost built in Liverpool Bay and the German North Sea, respectively, will be connected to the grid.

Hans Buenting, chief executive of RWE has also announced that the company has filed a lawsuit with an arbitration court in Washington, seeking a low-triple digit million euro amount from the Spanish government as a result of legislative changes for wind and hydro power.