Energy and Utilities  




MarketCap DE

DE Germany



RWE Aktiengesellschaft generates and supplies electricity from renewable and conventional sources primarily in Europe and the United States. It operates through five segments: Offshore Wind; Onshore Wind/Solar; Hydro/Biomass/Gas; Supply & Trading; and Coal/Nuclear. 

The company generates wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, gas, and biomass electricity. It also trades in energy commodities; and operates gas storage facilities, as well as battery storage activities. The company serves commercial, industrial, and corporate customers. RWE Aktiengesellschaft was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Essen, Germany.


The company was founded in Essen in 1898, as Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk Aktiengesellschaft by Elektrizitäts-Actien-Gesellschaft vorm. W. Lahmeyer & Company and others. The full name was used until 1990 when it was renamed to RWE AG. Its first power station started operating in Essen in 1900. In 1902, EAG sold its shares to a consortium formed by Ruhr industrialists Hugo Stinnes and August Thyssen. 

In 1906, it expanded its operations beyond Essen by acquiring Elektrizitätswerk Berggeist AG in Brühl, and Bergische Elektrizitätswerke GmbH, Solingen. During the same year, it also acquired shareholdings in the tramway companies Bochum-Gelsenkirchener Straßenbahn AG and Rheinische Bahngesellschaft AG. In 1908, RWE signed demarcation contracts with Städtische Elektrizitätswerk Dortmund and Elektrizitätswerk Westfalen AG. Together they created Westfälische Verbands-Elektrizitätswerk AG. RWE contributed to the newly established company through its power station in Dortmund–Kruckel and the supply grid in Witten/Dortmund. 

Later all these companies formed Vereinigte Elektrizitätswerke Westfalen AG. In 1909, RWE opened the Reisholz Power Plant and acquired a stake in the tram company Süddeutsche Eisenbahngesellschaft AG. RWE also started to build its own gas supply network in 1909. Deliveries of coal gas to the Bergisches Land region started in 1912. In 1914, RWE opened the Vorgebirgszentrale power plant in Hürth. By 1920, the plant had an installed capacity of 190 megawatts, which made it the largest in Europe. Before World War I, the municipalities of Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr, and Gelsenkirchen, became shareholders in RWE. By the 1920s, Bonn, Cologne, Krefeld, Duisburg, and Düsseldorf also became shareholders and municipalities owned the majority of RWE's shares. In 1925, the Prussian state became a shareholder in RWE. In 1929, municipalities and the Rhine Province combined their shareholdings into a holding company Kommunale Aufnahmegruppe für Aktien GmbH.

In 1920, RWE acquired Niedersächsische Kraftwerke AG, located in Osnabrück. In 1922, it expanded its coal business by acquiring three anthracite mines in Essen and a majority stake in the lignite company Braunkohlen- und Briketwerke Roddergrube AG. In 1923, it acquired its founder company EAG. Three years later, the company acquired a stake in Rheinische Elektrizitäts-Aktiengesellschaft and became a shareholder in the newly established Ruhrgas gas company in exchange for its gas grid. In 1927, RWE and Prussia swapped their holdings in the Brunswick and Cologne coalfields and RWE became an owner of Braunkohlen-Industrie AG Zukunft. In 1932, RWE acquired a majority stake in the coal company Rheinische Aktiengesellschaft für Braunkohlenbergbau. In 1936, it acquired Niederrheinische Braunkohlenwerke AG, an operator of the Frimmersdorf Power Plant. On 1 May 1933, the executive board including Ernst Henke joined the NSDAP as a unified body.

Since autumn 1943, the Essen state police had been investigating Wilhelm Ricken, RWE's technical director and designated general director, for "subversion of the military". The then First Mayor of Essen, Just Dillgardt, who was also the second chairman of RWE's supervisory board, had reported Ricken to the state police. Previously, he had received a tip from the then commercial director and fellow board member of Ricken, Friedrich Pradel. This "board member" of RWE is said to have pushed Dillgardt to press charges. Wilhelm Ricken was then arrested on 20 October 1943, and sentenced to death on 8 March 1944, by the Volksgerichtshof, partly because of his statement that "the war would end like 1918". On 2 May 1944, Wilhelm Ricken was executed in Berlin-Plötzensee.In 2015, a "stumbling block" was placed at this final address in Essen to commemorate Ricken's fate.

During World War II, the infrastructure owned by RWE was severely damaged but mostly repaired by 1948. In 1952, the company was excluded from the Allies' control. In 1957, RWE acquired the coal company Neurath AG. RWE and the Bavarian state-owned 'Bayernwerk' joined forces to build Germany's first industrial nuclear reactor. The Kahl experimental nuclear power plant, constructed right next to RWE's Dettingen hard coal-fired power plant, supplied its first electricity in 1962. Until its closure in 1985, this plant would serve as a source of important findings which supported the design and operation of commercial nuclear reactors.

RWE's nuclear operations started in 1961 when RWE and Bayernwerk started to build the first German industrial nuclear reactor—the Kahl Nuclear Power Plant. In 1962, they started to build the Gundremmingen Nuclear Power Plant. In 1965, at the request of the surrounding municipalities, the Karnap power plant in Essen started to burn domestic waste. In 1969, RWE acquired a stake in Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks-Aktiengesellschaft which allowed its expansion into the oil industry. However, in 1974, it was sold to VEBA AG. In 1971, founded Gesellschaft für elektrischen Straßenverkehr, a company to develop an electric car for commercial-scale production. The prototype presented in 1983 was produced in cooperation with Volkswagen and named City-Stromer. In 1988, RWE again expanded into the oil industry by acquiring Deutsche Texaco, formerly known as Deutsche Erdoel AG, which was renamed RWE-DEA AG für Mineralöl und Chemie. 

RWE was reorganized to hold energy, mining and raw materials; petroleum and chemicals; waste management; mechanical and plant engineering; and construction divisions. In the 1990s, RWE acquired a number of assets in former East Germany, including stakes in the mining company Lausitzer Braunkohle AG and the power company VEAG. In 2000, RWE and VEW merged to create a "new" RWE, and stakes in LAUBAG and VEAG were sold to avoid competition violations. In 2001, RWE took over the British company Thames Water. In 2002, it acquired American Water Works Company, based in New Jersey, which became a subsidiary of Thames Water. In 2006, RWE sold Thames Water to Kemble Water Limited, a consortium led by Macquarie Group. RWE previously owned American Water, the United States' largest investor-owned water utility, but this was divested in 2008.

In 2002, RWE acquired the British electricity and gas utility company Innogy for £3 billion. Innogy was subsequently renamed RWE Npower plc. As a result of the assets swap with RAG AG, RWE gave away its stake in the power company STEAG. It received almost full control of the renewable energy company Harpen AG. Full control of Harpen was achieved in 2005. In 2003, RWE also achieved full control over Thyssengas. In the same year, it decided to divest its American coal company Consol Energy.

In 2011, RWE unbundled its transmission system by selling its majority stake in the transmission system operator Amprion but keeping 25.1% in the company. On 14 August 2012, RWE AG announced that the company would cut 2,400 more jobs to reduce costs. Previously the company had announced to eliminate of 5,000 jobs and 3,000 jobs through divestments as anticipated of closing all nuclear reactors by 2022. In August 2013, RWE completed the disposal of NET4GAS, the Czech gas transmission network operator, for €1.6 billion to a consortium consisting of Allianz and Borealis. The company was privatized to RWE in 2002. In the 2000s, RWE also acquired energy companies in Poland and Slovenia. It also owned RWE Dea, which produced some of the oil and gas RWE sold ) and 3 billion m3 of natural gas a day. In March 2015, RWE closed the sale of RWE Dea to a group led by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman despite opposition from UK regulators. 

The $5.6 billion deal, announced in 2014, required approval from 14 countries where RWE Dea operates in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. On 1 April 2016, RWE transferred its renewable, network and retail businesses into a separate company named Innogy, which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The new entity combined RWE subsidiaries RWE Innogy, RWE Deutschland, RWE Effizienz, RWE Vertrieb and RWE Energiedienstleistungen.In March 2018, it was announced that E.ON will acquire Innogy in a complex €43 billion deal of assets swap with RWE. As a result, RWE will take a 16.7% stake in E.ON. Following the purchase of E.ON's renewables business and nuclear electricity generation assets, RWE is expected to become Europe's third-largest renewable energy provider behind Spain's Iberdrola and Italy's Enel, and the second-largest in the market for offshore wind power.


“By 2030, we want to be one of the world's largest producers of electricity from renewable energies and will be investing more than 50 billion euros in offshore and onshore wind power, solar, batteries, flexible generation and hydrogen.”


“To maintain a reliable supply of energy to society, over the long term we will still need power plants that are able to provide electricity whenever it is needed.”

Key Team

Dr. Joachim Haaf (Head of Group Insurance)

Thomas Denny (Head of Investor Relations)

Dr. Ulrich Rust (Gen. Counsel)

Ms. Stephanie Schunck (Head of Group Communication and Public Affairs)

Dr. Stephan Muschick (Head of Corp. Citizenship)

Joachim Lochte (Head of Corp. Responsibility & Environmental Protection)

Dr. Berend Holst (Head of Group Tax)

Recognition and Awards
RWE has won the highest accolade at the German Brand Award 2021. The company's brand identity won the “Best of Best” award in the category “Corporate Brand of the Year”

Leadership team

Dr. Michael Muller (CFO & Member of Exec. Board)

Ms. Zvezdana Seeger (Chief HR Officer & Labour Director and Member of Exec. Board)


Energy and Utilities

Products/ Services
Clean Energy, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Enterprise Software, Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy
Number of Employees
1,000 - 20,000
Essen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Company Type
Public Limited Company
Company Registration
SEC CIK number: 0001121516
Net Income
1B - 20B
Above - 1B
Traded as
Social Media

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