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RWE history

Small beginnings

From a local electricity company to an international power provider – this is a brief summary of the 120-year history of RWE. It all started back in April 1898 with the founding of the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk – or RWE for short – which supplied the city of Essen with electricity from 1900 onwards. The new company really got going in 1902, when Hugo Stinnes acquired the majority stake. With RWE, the industrialist from Mülheim started implementing his vision of a large-scale, efficient (and thus low-cost) electricity supply.

The RWE headquarters in Essen, around 1905

This period was followed by years where power consumption could double over the course of just seven years.

Tough market conditions led to a far-reaching decision in late 2015: RWE would be splitting up.

RWE Group Corporate Archives

Hans-Georg Thomas

Opernplatz 1
45128 Essen