Siemens snaps up solar energy firm
German conglomerate Siemens on Thursday announced the purchase of Solel Solar Systems, a maker of panels used in power plants harnessing the sun's rays to generate electricity.
The German industrial giant said it was buying Israel-based Solel for $418 million (€281 million) from current majority owners, British-based investment firm Ecofin and another unnamed shareholder.
Solel is one of the world's top two suppliers of solar receivers and also plans and constructs vast "solar fields," posting sales of close to $90 million in the first half of 2009, Siemens said.
"After the rapid and highly successful expansion of our wind power business, we now want to continue this success story in the solar sector," Siemens said in a statement.
Interest in renewable energy has soared in recent years as countries diversify away from fossil fuels in an attempt to reduce the harmful carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.