Earlier this week, Germany’s biggest power company, E.ON, announced that it would spin off its centralized power assets in order to make itself a distributed utility and embrace the “new world” of energy.

E.ON and other European utilities have been shedding billions of dollars as electricity consumption declines and solar erodes the value of their power plants. Many of them are considering radical changes to their business models as a result.

Johannes Teyssen, E.ON's CEO and board chairman described the move this way: "We’ve now come to the conclusion that it will become increasingly difficult for a company with a broad portfolio to be successful and to grow in both the new and the conventional energy world.”

In this week’s podcast, we’ll look at why E.ON made such a dramatic decision. We will also discuss parallels in the U.S., where some power companies are in the early stages of what German utilities have gone through.

Later in the show, we’ll talk about Google’s decision to ditch R&D in renewable energy. Was it proof of the limitations of renewables? Or was it just Google’s inability to make the right investments?

Finally, we’ll wrap up with discussion of a new infrastructure-as-a-service company looking to recreate financing success in solar.

This podcast is brought to you by SMA, the world's leading solar inverter manufacturer. With more than 850 service experts, 90 service hubs, 30-plus gigawatts installed globally and thousands of commercial and utility projects completed worldwide, SMA is the partner of choice for your PV projects.

The Energy Gang is produced by Greentechmedia.com. The show features weekly discussion between energy futurist Jigar Shah, energy policy expert Katherine Hamilton and Greentech Media Editor Stephen Lacey.