The division of renewable and conventional energy assets at German utility E.ON’ became effective on January 1.

The company separated its natural gas, coal and hydropower businesses into a new company called Uniper, while renewables and energy networks remain under the E.ON name.

The split comes just over a year after plans for the separation were first announced. The companies are due to become legally independent of each other later this year.E.ON chief executive Johannes Teyssen

The new-look E.ON will operate from a new base in Essen while Uniper will be headquartered in Dusseldorf.

E.ON chief executive Johannes Teyssen said that the split has been made in response to “the distinctly different challenges of the new and conventional energy worlds”.

“This liberates us from continually having to make compromises,” he said. “Our ambition is for both companies to become leading players in their respective energy worlds.”

Teyssen said that “separating these businesses will make both companies more agile and sharpen their profile for customers and investors”.

Uniper chief executive Klaus Schäfer said: “Economic prosperity is – and will continue to be – fuelled by energy. The global population is growing and so is its consumption of energy, which people take for granted. Ensuring that people have a secure and cost-effective supply of power and gas will remain a crucial task. That’s what Uniper is all about.”

He added that “hardly any other European company has a comparable power and gas portfolio and knows global energy flows and the success factors in this business as well as we do”.