In their activities, energy groups in Europe focus on a variety of areas, yet all of them can see the changes taking place in their environment.

Currently, the main trend is the broadly understood development of renewable energy sources, and thus the following concepts: decarbonization, electrification, energy efficiency, and decentralization. All of this is to improve the quality and security of electricity supply, along with a change in the direction of capital expenditures in the power sector – towards the production of electricity based on zero-emission sources.

The figure below presents a comparison of the generation mix among selected largest energy groups in Europe (based on the currently available data).


Compared to the European market, Polish energy groups are characterized by a large dependence of their generation capacities on coal fuels. Electricity production among the presented European energy groups is much more diverse. Generating units based on coal and gas fuel do not have a majority share in their fuel mix – they do not exceed a dozen or so percent (with CEZ and RWE with the highest percentages).

Analyzing the installed electrical capacity over the years 2017/2018, the trend of investing in renewable energy sources and turning away from coal is clearly visible. An example of this is Enel or RWE, a German company, whose installed capacity based on coal in 2018 declined as compared to the previous year and, additionally, an increase in RES capacity was observed.

The growing trends associated with capital expenditures in renewable energy sources and a greater focus on the customer and his/her needs are visible in the plans and strategic directions of the energy companies presented, as illustrated in the Table below.

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Almost all of the 16 European energy groups will focus on developing renewable energy sources (RES). Only Uniper did not declare an increase in the renewable energy capacity; however, it declared no capital expenditures in new coal-fired power plants and emission reduction. Activities aimed at improving the energy infrastructure, including Smart type activities, digitization and smart meters, which enable customers to manage their energy consumption and improve their comfort of living, are gaining momentum.

The activities of 70% of the companies will focus on the customer and his/her needs as well as electromobility. Along with the increase in renewable energy sources, including small prosumer installations, the activities related to electricity storage are gaining importance.

The TAURON Group takes note of the trends in the power sector and takes actions in all the areas presented, making changes and focusing on the challenges of the so-called power sector of tomorrow.

As the environment is changing, energy companies are updating their plans and strategic goals.

The figure below presents the declarations of European power companies regarding capital expenditures and expansion, in the coming years, with respect to new generation capacity based on the RES assets.

In 2018, with 39.2 GW, Enel, an Italian company, had the highest installed RES capacity among the presented energy companies. In its strategic plans, it assumes allocating 38% of its capital expenditures in the period 2019–2021 for investments in renewable energy sources (it is approx. EUR 10.6 billion).

The second group, whose installed RES capacity was 32.6 GW in 2018, is EDF, a French company, which is planning to increase the installed capacity of its green assets to 50 GW by 2030.

The ENGiE Group, the second company operating in France, is planning to increase its capacity by 9 GW in 2019–2021 (from 24.8 GW in 2018 to 33.8 GW in 2021).

Vattenfall, a Swedish company, declares another 2.3 GW of installed RES capacity by 2020.

Endesa, a Spanish energy group, had 6.5 GW of installed capacity in renewable energy sources in 2018. Its plans include an increase in capacity in wind and photovoltaic assets by 1.9 GW by 2021. By 2050, the group would like to produce 100% of its electricity volume from renewable energy sources.

One of the German energy groups, E.On, is planning an increase, by approx. 4.1 GW, of installed capacity in wind (on-shore and off-shore) assets by 2020. In 2020, the company may have 9.4 GW of installed capacity in renewable energy sources, as compared to 2018, when it had 5.3 GW.

Another company operating on the German market, i.e. RWE, after the acquisition of new RES assets, which took place in 2019, updated its strategic directions and aspires to be the 3rd company in Europe in terms of RES. Therefore, it declared an expansion of its renewable energy generation fleet by 2–3 GW of installed capacity per year. Taking into account the declarations, it is estimated that RWE will have at least 26 GW of capacity in green assets in 2030.

Innogy is planning an additional 7 GW of RES capacity by 2024.

Another German energy group, EnBW, has declared an increase to approx. 5.6 GW of capacity in renewable assets by 2020.

In 2018, Uniper had 3.6 GW of installed capacity in renewable energy sources and is one of the companies that are not directly declaring an increase in the renewable sources capacity, but has announced that it will not invest in coal power plants.

A Czech company, CEZ, is planning to increase its assets by 0.4 GW by 2025, from 1.7 GW in 2018 to 2.1 GW of installed capacity.

The FORTUM Group is assuming an increase of the installed capacity in wind energy and photovoltaics in its plans.

On the domestic market, the PGE Group had the largest installed capacity in RES in 2018, i.e. 2.2 GW. The Group is seeking to ensure that, in 2030, its production of electricity from renewable energy sources should account for 25% of the national production of electricity from renewable energy sources, and therefore it has started to prepare investments in the construction of an off-shore wind farm on the Baltic Sea. PGE’s ambition is to achieve 2.5 GW of off-shore wind capacity by 2030, with a path to reach 1 GW in 2025. According to the new strategic plan, Enea intends to increase its installed RES capacity to 2.5 GW by 2030.

In the strategic directions update, the TAURON Group declared an increase in installed RES capacity by 2025 by an additional 900 MW in wind assets and 300 MW in photovoltaics, and is also considering an engagement in off-shore wind assets. By 2030, the expected RES installed capacity of the TAURON Group will be approx. 3 GW.

Power sector companies are adapting their generating units to the requirements related to decarbonization and the transition to zero-emission electricity generation in their strategic declarations and plans for the future. Therefore, some of the presented companies have declared CO2 emission reduction targets by 2030, as illustrated in the Figure.

CO2 reduction targets of electricity undertakings in Europe

The EDF Group has the most ambitious plans among the European entities, whose goal is to become a leader in the decarbonization of the energy sector and to achieve zero emissions. Pursuing this goal, the Group is assuming a reduction of CO2 emissions by 39% in 2023 and by 47% in 2030, as compared to 2018.

Enel’s ambition is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 37% in 2030.

The Endesa Group has set itself a goal of 100% electricity production with zero emissions by 2050. Therefore, the Group is planning to reduce CO2 emissions by 13% in 2020 and by 35% in 2030 (as compared to the level of emissions in 2018).

CEZ aims to reduce the Group’s emissions by 24% by 2025.

The E.On Group is planning to reduce CO2 emissions by 16% by 2030, and in its CSR strategy it is declaring achieving emission neutrality by 2050.

Among the Polish energy entities, the TAURON Group has set the biggest reduction goals, planning to reduce emissions by 51% by 2030. PGE declared a reduction of specific CO2 emissions by 11% by 2025, and Enea by 30% by 2030.

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