That argument was that setting up a joint venture like this allows Areva the chance to hand over some control of its offshore wind operations to Gamesa, and may point towards a plan to exit the offshore wind sector in the longer term.
Speculative? Yes, but we need only look at Areva’s dire set of annual results this month to give credence to this theory.
The French group reported losses of €4.8bn in 2014 after write downs on nuclear projects. In response to this, it said it would reduce the size of its commitments in renewable energy so it could focus on improving the health of its core nuclear business.
With that in mind it would not surprise us if one option for the firm was a complete exit from renewables — and registering Adwen in Spain would remove one logistical problem if it chose to do so.
Of course, it is impossible to predict at this stage that a total exit by Areva from renewables is definitely on the cards. Partly, we think Areva’s long-term appetite for offshore will depend on what future France’s leaders see for nuclear, and what successes Adwen enjoys in the face of stiff competition from other established rivals.
But one thing is for sure: it won’t get an easy ride.
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