Siemens exits solar business


As part of its reorganization strategy, the Germany-based electronics giant has announced the discontinuation of its Solar & Hydro division and, thus an exit from both its thermal solar and photovoltaic activities.

In a statement released, Michael Süß, member of the Managing Board of Siemens and CEO of the energy sector, explained, "Due to the changed framework conditions, lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets, the company’s expectations for its solar energy activities have not been met."

Siemens’ statement added that talks are currently underway regarding the sale of its solar activities, and that business will operate as usual, until the activities have been sold. A spokesperson for the company told pv magazine that 680 employees will be affected by the decision. It is hoped they will be transferred to the new buyer along with Siemens’ solar activities. Overall, 800 employees are in the division, 200 of which are located in Germany.

In the last year, the division is said to have reaped revenues in the low triple-digit millions. While the spokesperson could not divulge any specific details, they did say that there are parties interested in buying it. A deal is hoped to be reached by 2014 at the latest.

While Siemens will no longer be directly involved in solar, it will continue to produce components for thermal solar and photovoltaic plants, which are said to be manufactured out with its Solar & Hydro division. It added that hydro and energy storage business activities will remain within the company’s Energy Sector.

"The importance of renewable energies in the global power mix will continue to grow and hydro power and wind energy will remain the major renewable contributors. Our renewable energy activities will be focused on these two areas," continued Süß.