Siemens Bows Out of Solar, And Looks to the Wind


Calling all windy Middle East and Mediterranean countries. German giant Siemens is looking for your offshore wind. 

The German industrial giant Siemens, a 165 year-old company, shocked us a bit with the news that it would be selling off its half billion dollar investment in Solel, an Israeli solar energy company that it bought in 2009. At the same time the company bought the Italian company Archimede Solar Energy. Siemens we reported last week, has now bowed out of its commitment to the pan-African and possibly Middle Eastern solar grid project Desertec that would connect the energy of solar farms from sunny countries to Europe. Siemens has cited slow growth, high costs and low profit margins in solar, and now it’s reorganizing its renewable energy business, Bloomberg reports.

“Due to the changed framework conditions, lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets,” Siemens said in a statement, “the company’s expectations for its solar energy activities have not been met.”

What’s in store? Hydro power and the wind, with a focus on offshore wind farms in particular. Except for Turkey, hydro is not really an option in the dry Middle East North African regions.

So who’s got the biggest wind potential in the Middle East you might ask – enough to catch the eyes and investment prospects of Siemens? It looks like Iran (with operating wind farms), Egypt, Morocco, and Oman may harbour the greatest investment opportunities in this regard.

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