Siemens AG Announces Strategic Restructuring

Siemens is acquiring gas equipment manufacturer Dresser-Rand for $7.6 billion dollars in a move meant to help the German conglomerate capitalize on the US energy boom. Earlier this year Siemens bought “most” of Rolls-Royce’s civil energy operation for $1.3 billion. The acquisitions are also likely motivated by a desire to remain competitive with rival GE, which recently outbid Siemens for Alstom’s energy business. “Siemens produces gas turbines and supplies equipment for companies that extract natural gas. The merger with Dresser-Rand, which produces compressors, turbines and other rotating equipment, would allow Siemens to expand its gas-extraction capabilities and more directly profit from hydraulic fracturing in the U.S.” [Wall Street Journal]

Tesla and Solar City visionary Elon Musk announced in New York last week that Solar City rooftop PV system customers would all receive battery backup systems within 5- 10 years. And the generation-plus-storage systems will be cheaper than grid-sourced power. “Will SolarCity really be delivering battery backup systems with all of its solar rooftops for a combined price that is lower than grid electricity in just 5-10 years? That’s a good possibility, but even if it isn’t, it will probably be doing so with many of its installations, and that’s going to have a dramatic, spiraling effect on energy markets worldwide. Exciting times. [CleanTechnica]

New Jersey utility PSE&G has begun work to upgrade its gas and power infrastructure so it can better withstand the impacts of severe storms like Hurricane Sandy. “Under the deal with state regulators, $620 million is to be spent on protecting power-switching stations, $350 million on replacing gas mains, $200 million for “smart-grid” technology and other measures allowing crews to respond to problems faster and reduce outages, and $50 million for protecting five natural-gas metering stations and a gas storage station that provides backup supply during cold snaps.” []