Report of the Chairman of the Bord of Directors

Dr Eduard Rikli, Chairman of the Board of Directors:

“A wide range of projects for new generating facilities and future-oriented solutions for the market are examples of the successful implementation of our strategy.”

The energy sector needs to come up with viable solutions

Dr Eduard Rikli, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Following the decision in Switzerland and Germany to renounce nuclear energy, we need to ask ourselves what the future power generation mix should be in this new environment. What we need right now is for the regulatory requirements to be determined quickly, so that energy providers can come up with solutions on a binding basis. With its diversified power generation strategy and focus on defined key markets, Repower is well equipped for the planned changes.

It is not just since the accident in the Fukushima nuclear power plant that the energy sector finds itself in the spotlight. Power plant projects have always been closely scrutinised and the events of the last year have added a further dynamism to the political and public discussion on the future mix of electricity generation. Our current environment is defined by three poles – energy security, cost-effectiveness and environmental issues – criteria that are in competition with one another. Debates about this topic are very controversial simply due to the very nature of the matter. The decision has already been taken in Switzerland and Germany to progressively abandon nuclear energy. What we need now is for someone to put forward some alternatives. No-one is in any doubt that the planned changes to electricity generation resulting from the energy turnaround will involve some fundamental readjustments and significant challenges. Nevertheless, Repower sees an opportunity for the energy sector, besides responding to political requirements, to use innovation and development as a means to take a leading role in shaping energy supply.

Technical developments to shape the future

For the ongoing review and setting of the strategy not only the present-day environment is decisive, but also the scenarios for the development of energy markets over the longer term. Based on international estimations, we have made the following assumptions:

  • Electricity consumption will continue to increase in the longer term as a result of population growth and the shift from thermal to electrical applications;
  • The increase in renewable energy sources will result in major changes to the power generation mix in Europe. Nevertheless, conventional resources will continue to be essential in the transitional period;
  • Making renewable technologies marketable means that the above-mentioned shift will be driven by customers rather than politicians, as has been the case to date;
  • Storage technologies and transport capacities will be key to ensuring a functioning supply based on renewables. Major, un-planned power generation surpluses need to be transported and stored so as to take advantage of generation when it is available and to cover shortfalls.

Integrated business model in key markets

Repower aims to further strengthen its position in the European energy market so that it can increase the value of the company for its shareholders and ensure added value and high-quality jobs for the Canton of Graubünden. Trading and supplying energy successfully requires a high degree of understanding of the ever more complex international energy markets. We concentrate on selected key markets where we want to secure our sales and trading activities by means of our own generating capacity. Our power generation portfolio is being expanded through diversified technologies and covers base, medium and peak loads. Generation types are carefully analysed and selected for the most suitable type of generation according to location, with the majority of investments being made in renewable energies and therefore in technologies that are compatible and capable of being flexibly deployed. According to current assessments, until such time as renewables are able to guarantee secure, economic supplies, we need another generation of conventional, thermal power plants and so we are pursuing projects of this nature in Germany and Italy. Plants planned, built or operated by Repower always uphold the highest efficiency and emissions standards.

We aim to further expand our international trading activities in electricity, gas and certificates. In sales, we are strengthening our position vis-à-vis our competitors through innovative offerings and high-quality customer care.

Clarity about regulatory issues needed

A binding set of rules should be created in the short term for the energy sector when regulatory parameters are defined. Both the revision of the Electricity Supply Act and the successful conclusion of the energy agreement between Switzerland and the EU are major preconditions for the success of the envisaged new energy policy. Grid expansion across all voltage levels is another essential element. Addressing these issues must therefore soon be made a high priority.

Well equipped for the future

In future, energy companies will come under even greater pressure to offer innovative products and services and to contribute to an economically and environmentally sustainable energy supply by pushing new technologies. With its successful wind and hydropower projects and future-oriented offers to end customers and utilities, Repower has demonstrated that it can rise to the challenge. This is possible only thanks to our employees' high level of commitment, and to them, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express my deepest gratitude.