Energy firms rake in massive profits

Energy firms rake in massive profits
Photo: DPA
German energy firms continued to rake in massive profits despite the recent financial crisis, with the three biggest companies making profits of €23 billion last year, media reported Wednesday.

E.ON, RWE and EnBW have steadily grown their profits for the past eight years, according to a report in the daily Frankfurter Rundschau, citing a study by the Saarland University of Applied Sciences.

The study, commissioned by the Greens party, found that since 2002, earnings for the same big firms had risen seven-fold and totaled €100 billion over the period.

In the first half of 2010, the firms had pulled in €15 billion in profits.

In addition, the three energy firms can expect extra earnings of €70 billion through the extended lifetimes of the nation’s nuclear reactors.

Greens party parliamentary leader Jürgen Trittin and his deputy Bärbel Höhn said in a statement that the “astronomical” returns could only be explained by a lack of competition.The profits that would be delivered by the nuclear extension was an unparalleled gift in German business history, they said.

The head of Germany’s Monopoly Commission – an independent watchdog that reports to the federal government – Justus Haucap, told the paper: “The enormous profits are not surprising. There is no functioning competition for energy production in Germany, which has been reinforced once again by the extension of nuclear reactors.”

Holger Krawinkel, energy expert for the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, said: “Competition for Germany power production is a farce.”

DAPD/The Local/dw

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