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Announcement:

Moody's: Europe's energy network operators face long-term risks from shift to renewables

14 Jun 2017

London, 14 June 2017 -- Decarbonisation and the continued transition to renewable energy in Europe, particularly wind and solar, poses long-term risks to the region's regulated electricity and gas network operators as changing business models, developing technology and evolving regulation could potentially undermine their credit quality over time, says Moody's Investors Service in a report published yesterday.

"The shift to renewables in Europe has thrown up different challenges for the region's energy network operators, with the huge uptick in renewables-related investment into electricity networks posing execution risks, while the move to decarbonisation casts doubt over the long-term use of natural gas and the networks that distribute it," says Stefanie Voelz, Vice President -- Senior Credit Officer at Moody's.

Moody's report, "Regulated Electric & Gas Networks - EMEA: Energy transition presents long-term risks for European regulated energy networks," is available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release. The rating agency's report is an update to the markets and does not constitute a rating action.

Large scale energy network operators may also be slow to adapt to the changing generation and consumption landscape, with electricity users becoming (partially) independent from the grid as they increasingly operate their own renewable generation and/or storage units. Furthermore, the growing electrification of transport or heating could significantly change network requirements.

While these ongoing developments could lead to sector fragmentation, potentially threatening existing network operators, their role as system operators -- whereby they coordinate the efficient use of power generated by widely distributed, independent sources and ensure supply security on a wider level -- may become more important.

The regulatory response to the renewables shift will be key to the future evolution of the energy network sector, as the change in scope of activities in an environment of significant technological shift, may necessitate changes in the way European networks are remunerated and customers tariffs are set, if credit quality is to be maintained.

Affordability will remain a key focus for network operators, as cost pressures increase on consumers. With investment requirements remaining high, leading to growth in companies' asset base beyond 2020, pressure on customer bills will rise. As renewable subsidies continue to weigh on bills, affordability concerns could lead to deferral of cost and investment recovery for networks, a credit negative.

Subscribers can access the report at:

https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1075072

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456, New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110, Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Stefanie Voelz
VP - Senior Credit Officer
Infrastructure Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Neil Griffiths-Lambeth
Associate Managing Director
Infrastructure Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
Client Service: 44 20 7772 5454

No Related Data.
© 2019 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

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Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (“MCO”), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $2,700,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS’s ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading “Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy.”

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MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

​​​​
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