Almost every day, an average of one of the approximately 500-ton colossi leaves the plant in Cuxhaven – and is sometimes shipped all over the world via the North Sea. Siemens Gamesa has been manufacturing the house-high nacelles for offshore wind turbines there since 2017. Some of the cargo ships also have the final destination of America, where wind power is to be greatly expanded.
Business correspondent in Munich.
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Since the U.S. government under President Joe Biden launched the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a $370 billion subsidy program for green technologies, many local companies have been talking about a jolt in the market. The German energy technology group Siemens Energy is also increasingly feeling the effects – whether it's onshore or offshore wind power (Gamesa), the expansion of power grids or electrolysers for hydrogen production.
"I'm positive about the market. It's crazy what's being invested. There has never been so much growth in this industry," said Energy CEO Christian Bruch during a recent press conference with a view to green technologies. In Europe and the USA, everywhere, massive investments are being made in the energy transition in the face of climate change. Europe is by far the most important market for the Dax group. Finally, the urgency for the expansion of renewable energies was once again highlighted by the energy crisis resulting from the Ukraine war. Brussels and Berlin are also making good efforts to speed up processes, according to industry sources. However, lengthy approval procedures, enormous bureaucracy and the often non-transparent eligibility criteria of local programmes continue to slow things down. What is different in the U.S. due to the IRA is the openness to technology and the long-term predictability, said Bruch. And that, in turn, makes investments attractive for companies. This is good news for the crisis-ridden energy technology company Siemens Energy, which has been independently listed on the stock exchange since autumn 2020.
"In the next 15 years, as much will be invested as in the last 150 years"
In the first half of this fiscal year, which ends at the end of September, Siemens Energy received orders from the U.S. for around €5.5 billion, compared with €2.5 billion in the prior-year period. By way of comparison, around 13.3 billion euros came from Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the same period, of which around 4.8 billion euros came from Germany. Of course, energy technology is a project business that often entails individual large orders that can distort the picture. Nevertheless, Siemens Energy is saying everywhere that there is still a lot to come from America – and the German company wants to be prepared for that.
"The U.S. recognizes the importance of power transmission and energy grids. In the next 15 years, as much will be invested as in the last 150 years," said Tim Holt, who is responsible for all technologies that convert and transport electricity in the group. Of course, America also has a lot of catching up to do in the face of outdated infrastructure, even more so than is the case here. And in America, too, approval processes sometimes take many years, says Holt, who himself lives in Orlando, USA.