German industrial giant Siemens, already a leader in developing renewable energy projects and sustainable future residential communities has announced that it will phase out its participation in building equipment for nuclear power plants. The announcement was reported in Germany’s Der Spiegel, with an interview with Siemens CEO Peter Loshcer who said that his company is doing this in response to the recent nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, which anti-nuclear power activists now say was “much worse than Chernobyl”.
Remaining Nuke plants in Germany (in yellow)
Löscher told Der Spiegel:
“The chapter (of building nuclear plants) is closed for us. We will no longer be involved in managing the building or financing of nuclear plants.”
Loscher went on to say that shifting the attention of Siemens towards renewable energy is “the project of the century”. This marks an abrupt shift for a company that only two years ago announced it was partnering with a Russian company to construct as many as 400 new nuclear power plants by the year 2030.
Siemen’s decision to leave the nuclear energy business goes along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement that all of Germany’s remaining 17 nuclear power plants will be shut down by the year 2020.
Siemens decision to shift its energies towards renewable energy projects has already been felt in countries like Israel, where Siemens purchased the controlling interest in the solar energy company Solel Solar for $413 Million in 2009.
Afterwards, Siemens bought a 40% state in another Israeli solar energy company, Arava Power. Arava Power has signed deals with 15 Negev and Arava desert region communities to provide them with electricity from solar energy. They have an installation of about 5 MW already installed at Kibbutz Ketura.
Siemens still has some on-going nuclear energy plant projects to complete, but no new projects will be undertaken. It will continue to offer steam turbines, generators, control systems and the various other components for use in thermal power plants, including nuclear ones. Geo-thermal power plants such as those in Iceland will be one of Siemen’s new priorities.
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