E.ON to invest €27bn in grids and customer solutions

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Germany multinational E.ON has announced €27 billion ($30.3 billion) in investment to be made on grid modernisation, expansion, digitisation, decarbonisation as well as improving customer solutions through 2026.

Leonhard Birnbaum, the CEO of E.ON, said the investment will help the firm to increase the pace at which the business is growing and its digital transformation.

Birnbaum, said: “The decarbonisation of Europe’s economies places the energy industry at the threshold of a key decade of growth. Having roughly 50 million customers in Europe and the continent’s biggest distribution network – which is the backbone of this transition – positions E.ON superbly to seize this opportunity. We can therefore today issue a long-term forecast for E.ON that is characterised by continual, profitable growth.”

The investments will enable E.ON to prepare its business and grid for the anticipated growth and changing business models and customer expectations.

The utility will direct €22 billion ($24.7 billion) towards expanding its energy networks and €5 billion ($5.6 billion) towards accelerating the growth of its customer solutions business.

Roughly €1 billion ($1.1 billion) will be invested in energy networks per annum, a development that is expected to expand the company’s regulated asset base by 6% per year through 2026. The investments are expected to expand the utility’s network earning by 3 to 4% per annum.

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Thomas König, E.ON Management Board member responsible for energy networks, added: “Without our infrastructure, there won’t be an energy transition. In the next five years alone, our networks will integrate 35 to 40 gigawatts of additional renewables capacity. Each of those new facilities takes Europe another step toward its Paris Agreement targets. In addition, we will see millions of heat pumps as well as batteries and eMobility.”

Up to €2 billion ($2.2 billion) in investments will be made to digitalise network infrastructure resulting in improved management of distributed energy resources and in enhanced customer services and experience.

Victoria Ossadnik, Board Member for Digital, emphasised: “The energy transition will only succeed through the digitisation of energy systems. Key drivers of the changes in energy systems relevant to E.ON are the shift in feed-in to the networks towards sustainable energy sources and the change in consumption patterns among our customers due to the electrification of mobility, heat, and production. We are systematically digitising both our networks and our customer business. Through digital platforms for our networks and our customer business, and by smartfication of our physical networks, we will make our networks observable, manageable and optimised, and harness the flexibility of power supply and demand required in the future energy world.”

Ossadnik added that digitalisation will also help consumers to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint. Digital solutions will include energy management apps and the cloud to replace data centres.

E.ON will install some 5,000 new electric vehicle chargers across Europe by 2026 to accelerate the electrification of the transport system. In addition, the company will expand its distributed energy infrastructure solutions by 9 to 12% annually.

CEO Leonhard Birnbaum, reiterated: “E.ON will now launch a comprehensive growth and investment offensive to establish a zero-carbon energy world.

“In 2030, E.ON will be bigger, greener, more digital, and more diverse.”