As of October 1, 2011, Siemens will realign its renewables business into two independent units, says the Germany-based company. The existing Renewable Energy Division shall be divided into two divisions, Wind Power and Solar & Hydro. The company intends to bundle its solar and hydro power business activities in a new division Solar & Hydro. “We’re separating solar and wind power because these two markets are at different stages of development,” says Siemens Energy Sector CEO Michael Seuss. “In the Solar & Hydro unit, we’ll move forward with research and development. In the established wind power business, we’ll forge ahead with industrialisation and internationalisation. Germany, the rest of Europe and the whole world need power-storage systems to work with renewables. Our Solar & Hydro Division will also be handling the strategic issue of power storage,” Suess added.
“We’ve got a wind order backlog of almost €11 billion, and we’re world market leader in offshore wind farms, the market sector posting fastest growth. We also want to forge ahead with onshore wind turbines.” To further reduce wind-based power generating costs the company will focus on new products and industrialised manufacturing and logistics. For example, nacelles are now produced in a continuous-flow manufacturing process with the automation of rotor-blade production to follow. The company recently installed a prototype of its new 6 MW direct drive wind turbine and announced investments of €150 million in two new R&D locations in Denmark. In addition, the internationalisation of the manufacturing and marketing & sales network will play a key role in Siemens strategy. Following the opening of two new factories in the US and China in late-2010, the company is planning further production facilities in Canada, the UK, India, and Russia, and now in Brazil.
Siemens wants to expand its market share in emerging countries with local value, and development of wind turbines for China and India. Siemens will bundle its activities in the fields of solar and hydro power in the Solar & Hydro Division. In this field Siemens acts as general contractor for large-area photovoltaic installations in the megawatt-capacity range. The company recently acquired a minority stake in Semprius, a developer of concentrating PV modules. In the field of solar-thermal power, the range of products offered extends from components, such as solar receivers and solar fields, to complete solar thermal power plants. In addition to business with small hydro power plants the new Division will also encompass the Siemens stakes in Voith Hydro (35%), a vendor in the hydro sector, and in Marine Current Turbines (about 10%), a pioneer in tidal current energy turbines. The new unit will also be a centre of competence for the development of power storage technologies.
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