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Siemens lets the sun go down on solar power
Photo: DPA

Siemens lets the sun go down on solar power

Published: 22 Oct 2012 11:32 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Oct 2012 11:32 GMT+02:00

German engineering giant Siemens is abandoning its solar energy business in favour of wind and hydropower, the company announced in a statement Monday.

The move was necessary, the firm said, because, "changed framework conditions, lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets,” meant the business sector was not meeting its expected goals.

The company will sell Solel Solar Systems, which it acquired in 2009 for $418 million, and the photovoltaic business of its solar and hydro division.

The solar and hydro division generated revenue "in the low triple-digit millions" in the business year ended September 30, 2012, and has "around 800 employees," the company said.

“The global market for solar thermal energy has fallen from four gigawatts to recently a little more than one gigawatt,” said Michael Süß, a member of Siemens’ board of directors and the CEO of its energy sector, in a statement. “In the future, specialized providers will be able to play off their strengths here.”

Siemens CEO Peter Löscher just announced a two-year savings programme, because of weak economic growth, during which all unprofitable enterprises will go under the microscope.

The company is in the midst of talks with interested parties about selling its solar businesses, which will continue operating until a sale is final. Siemens will retain its hydropower business, it confirmed.

DAPD/DPA/AFP/The Local/mbw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:26 October 22, 2012 by blackboot11
Not a surprise and probably a good move as solar energy is more efficient in a place where there is abundant sunshine. Germany has a great deal of wind and water to harness for its energy.
13:33 October 22, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Interesting. I'm guessing subsidies dried up as well. Here is a list of failing 'Green' Companies, and those that have gone Bankrupt*, and their respective stimulus handouts.

1. Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*

2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*

3. Solyndra ($535 million)*

4. Beacon Power ($43 million)*

5. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)

6. SunPower ($1.2 billion)

7. First Solar ($1.46 billion)

8. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)

9. EnerDel¦#39;s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*

10. Amonix ($5.9 million)

11. Fisker Automotive ($529 million)

12. Abound Solar ($400 million)*

13. A123 Systems ($279 million)*

14. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*

15. Johnson Controls ($299 million)

16. Schneider Electric ($86 million)

17. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)

18. ECOtality ($126.2 million)

19. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*

20. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*

21. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*

22. Olsen¦#39;s Crop Service and Olsen¦#39;s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*

23. Range Fuels ($80 million)*

24. Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*

25. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*

26. Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*

27. GreenVolts ($500,000)

28. Vestas ($50 million)

29. LG Chem¦#39;s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)

30. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*

31. Navistar ($39 million)

32. Satcon ($3 million)*

33. Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*

34. Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)
13:40 October 22, 2012 by truth is treason
IchBinKing, is right. Solar energy is a giant hole that sucks all the money. Now Seimens should abandon wind as well. see

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1345233/Its-use-waiting-turbines-warm-snow-returns.html?openGraphAuthor=%2Fhome%2Fsearch.html%3Fs%3D%26authornamef%3DDavid%2BDerbyshire%2BEnvironment%2BEditor

Global warming is a myth and is being used as an extra way to tax the public:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released--chart-prove-it.html
14:14 October 22, 2012 by whiteriver
In principle all energy we use is solar, only stored differently.

Siemens selling the solar division because it makes little or no profit may be linked to Chinese companies dumping (backed by the Chinese gov): http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-21/european-solar-lobby-says-china-talks-should-wait-for-eu-finding.html
11:01 October 23, 2012 by JDee
@truth is reason

Preventing climate change isn't the primary motivation for diversifying energy sources. ( Recent climate change has already happened, whether it had anything to do with man made C02 is unproven ). The primary motivation for these failed green companies and the extra taxes is to try and diversify the energy supply in advance of the expected decline in oil. We have taken out Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya in the last decade. Syria is underway and sadly Iran are also under the crosshairs. All of this may buy the west another decade of unbridled consumption. The cost of the oil wars pails the investment in green-tech into insignificance. So keep some perspective.
14:36 October 23, 2012 by z5um
Even if climate change is a myth. Fossil fuels will run dry, fossil fuels pollute the environment, germany is dependent on oil producing countries. What's bad about clean air and an independent energy supply?
15:46 October 23, 2012 by neunElf
What;s bad about it?

You obviously don't pay your own power bills.

The extra expense that people pay to fund this green fantasy means you have that much less money left to buy other things, making your country less competitive in the market and people poorer.

Outside of higher costs, a less reliable grid and lower competitiveness, it's great!
07:23 October 29, 2012 by honeybeee
Sun resource is the most valuable asset which this earth endows upon human, so many german industry manufacturers always tried their best to take good advantage of it . German auto supplier Schaeffler Ag is one of them , they aleady develop the solar power of future auto fuel solution technology as well as traditional hytropower.But it seems traditional hytropower has its more profitable assurance in this economic downturn for all auto manufacturers including Siemens.But schaeffler is just 4th ranking in auto innovation field behind Siemens , let alone Schaeffler registered 1,832 patents in Germany during the past year ­ the largest number ever.
17:04 October 29, 2012 by raandy
Siemens was interested in the world solar market ,not just Germany. The main reason is that siemens was no longer competitive in this market. Its expensive to finance R/D only to have it copied by your competitor, especially when you buy many of the components from them, not to mention Government subsidies.
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