THE German owner of Npower is set to write off hundreds of millions of pounds on the value of its British power plants in the latest sign of a deepening crisis among the big six energy suppliers.
RWE, one of Europe’s largest power companies, will reveal the British loss as part of an expected €4.8bn (£4bn) writedown of the value of its fleet of power stations.
The loss arises from pollution taxes that are forcing the closure of old coal-fired plants. Big subsidies for renewable energy, meanwhile, have made even gas-burning plants, which are much cleaner than coal stations, loss-making.
The hit will alarm Whitehall, which is increasingly worried about the lights going out. Companies have stopped building new power stations amid a political and regulatory backlash, sparked last year by Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices.