As Germany gears up for a nuclear-free low-emissions energy future, wind power has taken a new lead.
On August 4, the German engineering and technology company Siemens announced it would be splitting its renewables arm into two branches, Wind Power and Solar & Hydro. Considering its remarkable headline success in the wind sector since 2004–revenue has increased by a factor of 12 to about $3.2 billion–the company hopes to refocus its efforts and further specialize in the wind market with newer products alongside industrialized manufacturing and logistics.
“We want to continue our success story in wind power business and establish the basis for further growth,” Siemens Energy CEO Michael Suess said in a company statement. “We’ve got an order backlog of almost 11 billion euros.”
The new Siemens Wind Power branch will focus on expansion in both the on- and offshore markets. With increasing competition, the reorganization may have been critical for what Siemens hopes to be continued strength in the wind sector.
In its most recent wind industry outlook for Europe, Jefferies & Co. said that Siemens, along with Vestas, was leading the market with Siemens dominating the offshore sector specifically.
For a more detailed explanation of the Jefferies & Co. study, Read: European Wind Sector Set For Growth.
80 Siemens 3.6 MW-120 wind turbines were just ordered for Germany’s largest yet offshore wind farm, “Meerwind,” a €1.2 billion 288 MW project 50 kilometers off the German coast. The project was fully financed on August 5, with €378 million in invested equity from funds managed by Blackstone (NYSE: BX).
The remaining €822 million came from seven commercial lenders, including Commerzbank, KfW IPEX-Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Dexia, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and Siemens Bank with EKF and the KfW-Bankengruppe. The export credit agency of Denmark also contributed funding.
“The German regulatory framework is well designed and essential to the development of the tremendous and as yet largely untapped resource that offshore wind represents,” said CEO of Blackstone Energy Partners and Blackstone Senior Managing Director David Foley.
Photo Caption: Wind turbines spin at the Alpha Ventus offshore windpark on April 28, 2010 in the North Sea approximately 70km north of the German coast. Alpha Ventus, which is a pilot project between energy producers E.On, Vattenfall and EWE, officially began operation the day before and will deliver 60 Megawatts of power from its 12 turbines. It is also Germany’s first offshore windpark.