Siemens logo. Fair use, low resolution image to identify the subject.

FT: Siemens’ Wind Energy Losses Threaten the Future of the Company

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Net Zero Watch; Shareholder Fury: According to FT, the disastrous financial losses in Siemens’ wind power unit are a threat to the financial credibility of the entire company.

Siemens Energy’s struggling wind unit blows Germany’s largest spinout off course

Investors quiz management after four profit warnings in 18 months

Joe Miller in Frankfurt

Even as groups of teenagers routinely protested against climate change in the streets below his Munich office, Christian Bruch struck a defiant tone.

“Everybody is looking for a silver bullet which . . . makes [energy] sustainable overnight,” Bruch told the Financial Times in the summer of 2020, as he prepared to take charge of Siemens Energy. “[But] over the next decades we’re going to need natural gas.”

His unfashionable stance failed to cut through to investors. Weeks later, against the backdrop of a resurgent Green party, Siemens Energy slumped on its stock market debut in Frankfurt after becoming Germany’s largest ever spin-off. Those who did invest in the fossil fuels company were more attracted to its sole clean energy business — the rapidly growing Spanish manufacturer of wind turbines, Siemens Gamesa, or SGRE.

Yet it is this renewables unit — rather than the gas and coal contracts that make up the bulk of Siemens Energy’s balance sheet — that now threatens the company’s future and is causing headaches for its largest shareholder, Siemens.

SGRE’s problems reverberate beyond Siemens Energy’s boardroom. They have raised doubts among executives as to whether European and American companies can compete in the wind energy sector, or whether, as with solar, they will eventually be undercut by cheaper Asian imports.

Read more:

There is an obvious explanation for why Asia is undercutting European manufacturing so badly – the Chinese economy is powered by coal.

Siemens and other big European manufacturers face an increasingly impossible disadvantage vs Asia, because of skyrocketing European energy prices. European energy prices are skyrocketing largely because European countries have embraced wind turbines and solar panels manufactured by the likes of Siemens.

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dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 2:06 pm

Sounds like a good time to move your economy away from manufacturing.

The UK seems to have done this very effectively, majoring in financial services. France has remained primarily agricultural. Shame about Germany….

john Reistroffer
Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 2:31 pm

They can make money scratching each other’s back and brushing each other’s teeth.

Reply to  john Reistroffer
February 25, 2022 9:29 pm

Don’t forget giving each other haircuts and neighbors replacing each other’s broken windows, john.

Oh…. never mind. I’ll just continue to pretend to work while continuing to pretend to be paid.

Lachlan flawse
Reply to  H.R.
February 26, 2022 12:16 pm

As Mark Twain said, on observing a bunch of poor negro women, “They eked out a meagre living taking in each other’s washing”

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 2:39 pm

America moved away from manufacturing and came to regret it. Having to depend on China for vital products is a very bad idea. link Imagine getting into a war and discovering that the semiconductor devices embedded in your military equipment suddenly don’t work.

Reply to  commieBob
February 25, 2022 9:40 pm

In one of my MBA classes, we were tasked to give a persuasive presentation on any topic of our choice.

I chose the folly of outsourcing manufacturing and engineering as my topic for my presentation.

I received some nice golf claps. I had some good chums throughout my coursework, and though I’m not in touch anymore, I believe they may have come ’round to my way of thinking.

You can’t outsource your military programs to your enemy.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  H.R.
February 26, 2022 10:08 am

“You can’t outsource your military programs to your enemy.”

Sadly, yes you can, but God help you if you do.

Lachlan flawse
Reply to  H.R.
February 26, 2022 12:15 pm

You outsource sovereignty.
You outsource your middle class
and, in the end,
You outsource social cohesion and the very existence of your nation.

Reply to  commieBob
February 26, 2022 1:20 pm

Don’t work, maybe. Contain loopholes, possibly. Cannot be supplied on demand, an economy no longer viable, a vibrant society aborted.

Matt Kiro
Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 2:58 pm

The financial service industry doesn’t help the former manufacture worker , or the miner or oil driller. It appears to create an elite luxury oriented class that relies on the services industry, low paid, low skill, low educated, that struggles to live more than pay check to paycheck.

Al gray
Reply to  Matt Kiro
February 25, 2022 11:12 pm

One of the aims of the Brits in India was to break the Indian textile industry and bring the Jobs to Lancashire. All empires do that. Why did we give it all to China. Treacherous greed of financial elite I am learning to kow tow

Reply to  Al gray
February 26, 2022 12:35 am

That’s crap. It was the development of advanced spinning technology in England and the move to factory production that cut textile prices so low the cottage industries in India could no longer compete.
Don’t get your history lessons from Marxist historians.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Crisp
February 26, 2022 3:29 am

But if India wasn’t conquered by Britain- the Indians would have kept producing their own textiles.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2022 4:03 am

Cheap labour based industries will wander wherever the costs are lowest assuming there is an open export market. Think back to when ‘made in Taiwan’ was a label for something cheap. Now they major in chip foundries. China is seeing the same thing as their prosperity grows with now Vietnam becoming a go to place for cheap labour. And yet a whole continent is missing out on this – Africa. Mainly down to its like of despotic dictators making property ownership insecure and poor energy supply.

Lachlan flawse
Reply to  Gerry, England
February 26, 2022 12:18 pm

There is NOT another China in the world. The implications for future inflation seem to have totally escaped the morons who rule us.

Reply to  Gerry, England
February 27, 2022 12:55 am

China has already turned to various African countries as their own labour and other costs keep rising.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2022 8:08 am

Only if their government had banned the import of cheaper, better quality British textiles. They would have preserved the textile jobs, but not been better off.

Reply to  MarkW
February 27, 2022 1:00 am

How can they be better off if they end up unemployed? “Free Trade” is ridiculous without a long phase in period and protections and help for labour. I don’t think it is sensible for any nation to just import everything.

And I say that as a long time social and economic conservative.

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 3:36 pm

The West is about to find out that if heavy industry can no longer manufacture tanks, artillery, aircraft, and battleships, in large quantity and quickly if needed, the Russians and Chinese won’t even be polite about the countries they are taking. Ukraine this month. Taiwan next.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  DMacKenzie
February 25, 2022 4:11 pm

I told someone today that I expect an invasion of Taiwan soon. Given that the western leaders are hypnotized by the purveyors of climate doom, they will be too distracted (or woke) to respond to the actual threats to democracy (as it was originally intended to be). There will be an increasingly soft line on human rights globally.

Ann Banisher
Reply to  Pop Piasa
February 26, 2022 7:03 am

I agree. Taiwan is the #1 semiconductor supplier for the west and we have decided to develop our own semiconductor industry, which will take time to get online. The time to try would be before develop those other sources.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
February 25, 2022 4:44 pm
Timo V
Reply to  MarkW
February 26, 2022 1:09 am

I Can’t speak for Sweden, but as a finn i’m not too worried yet. Ukraine is a soft target compared to us. We have VERY big, well trained and equipped army, and our landscapes does not favor intruders.

Reply to  Timo V
February 26, 2022 8:11 am

With modern air power, they don’t have to invade in order to inflict a tremendous amount of damage.

Timo V
Reply to  MarkW
February 26, 2022 9:18 am

I have no doubt attacker could damage our civilian infrastructure, but how how would he fight an enemy he can’t find and one that refuses to engage. We are trained and willing (basicly a whole male population) to fight an “enhanced” guerilla warfare against intruders. We fought soviets and they did’nt take us. We remember them, and i bet russians have not for forget us. They should be very desperate to come after us.

Have a look at Finland in Google Earth, we are just lakes and forests,lakes and forests…

Reply to  MarkW
February 26, 2022 9:21 am

Their air power doesn’t seem to be all that great. They have yet, according to reports, to establish air superiority over Ukraine,

Stinger missiles appropriately located do MUCH damage and are impossible to target as you can SAM missile battery.

Apparently, as I have heard on the news, Russia cannot do nighttime air attacks. Has their technology progressed so slowly?

Lachlan flawse
Reply to  MarkW
February 26, 2022 12:21 pm

The Finns have given Russsia a bloody nose and defeat before and likely, would do so again.

Reply to  DMacKenzie
February 26, 2022 4:04 am

As was said in the TV series War Factories, it was the countries with the best industries that won WW2.
The Russions concentrated on building tanks, and relied on the US and UK to provide other war materiel . 300, 000 lorries and jeeps from the US as well as boots from the UK alsos food, oil, railway engines and much other equipment.
The USSR would have been at a grave disadvantage without this material help from the allies. You can’t keep tanks and armies moving without good logistics.
The Duke of Wellingron was good on logistics in Spain, Napoleon wasn’t, ( nor in Russia).

Reply to  StephenP
February 26, 2022 9:22 am

And most of those tanks were made with US provided steel.

Lachlan flawse
Reply to  Drake
February 26, 2022 12:22 pm

with a US design!!!!!

Komerade Cube
Reply to  Lachlan flawse
February 26, 2022 9:26 pm

not being rude, I would love to see documentation on that, do you have a source?

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Lachlan flawse
February 28, 2022 3:36 am

And made in US automobile factories, Ford & GM.

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 3:41 pm

we should all do each other’s taxes

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  billtoo
February 26, 2022 3:31 am

we wouldn’t need to if the tax form was reduced to a single page- I propose that this be put in the constitution

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2022 8:13 am

Amount Earned __________
Amount Sent In __________

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 26, 2022 9:33 am

The Fair Tax. Please look it up.

Get the government out of my finances.

I just loaded TurboTax onto my computer yesterday to prepare my taxes. With the Fair Tax, no tax forms, just a sales tax on products and services with a “prebate” to all households for the taxes necessary to provide minimal necessities, so totally “progressive” tax structure.

Look how the Democrats are using tax returns to abuse republicans: Harry Ried: “Romney hasn’t paid taxes for years.

TRUMP! Democrats want his returns to use during the 2024 election.

Fauxahauntus: “Musk paid no taxes last year, I saw his returns.”

Time to ban the feds from this information. Note that The Fair Tax would also eliminate the corporate income tax.

And any tax increase would be immediately and continually apparent by the increase in the tax rate charged at every purchase.

Reply to  Drake
February 26, 2022 1:36 pm

So do I get a refund on all the taxes I’ve paid on my after-tax savings, ROTH accounts, and the principal I’ve built up in my real estate? No.

Speaking of real estate, if on my rental property I get $1000 in rental income, and must do $1000 on repairs, I pay no taxes; the loss offsets the income. Under the ‘fair tax’, would I not end up paying taxes on the $1000 expenditures? Generally, rental property offers a positive cash flow and an increasing tax liability. This is the result of the property depreciation deduction. The tax liability is paid when the property is sold. The expectation is the property will have increased enough in value to cover all the taxes and leave a profit. The impact of the fair tax would result in a huge adjustment to rents, driving them far higher. BTW, will the government be collecting taxes when real estate is purchased? Huge impact if so.

I think ‘fair’ depends on whom you ask and what they own.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Jtom
February 26, 2022 5:19 pm

G’Day Jtom

“This is the result of the property depreciation deduction. The tax liability is paid when the property is sold.”

Very true. It is calculated on Form 4797. I had clients ask , “What if we don’t take depreciation each year to avoid that extra tax when we sell?”

The 4797 form states – “Depreciation Allowed or Allowable….” In other words, you’ll still pay tax on the depreciation that you should have taken and didn’t. Not wise at all.

(If anyone is planning on setting up a rental, talk to a professional tax preparer before committing.)

George Daddis
Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 4:04 pm

A strategic move worthy of Sun Tzu.
Move your manufacturing capabilities to your enemies.

Who needs aircraft, troop carriers or electronics?
We’ve got Krugman and Friedman!

Reply to  George Daddis
February 25, 2022 4:38 pm

…and the miracle of just in time inventory (JITI)

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 4:06 pm

The US off-shored much of its manufacturing. That has led to generally poorer quality for the consumer, and recently, supply problems. Lacking domestic production also puts a country at risk of blackmail with the threat of cutting off supplies.

Things manufactured over-seas may save money, but the consumer ends up getting exactly what he pays for.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 25, 2022 4:26 pm

Europe today is a prime example. They don’t want to sanction Russian energy producers or Putin himself because of a lack of domestic energy production. It’s going to be their downfall sooner or later. They will become Russian client states even if not actively invaded by Putin.

Thanks to Biden, the US will soon be in the same position vis a vis China.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 25, 2022 4:39 pm

Only a few months ahead of a clean sweep through Washington.

another ian
Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 26, 2022 12:45 am

As per that Kipling poem

“And if you pay up the Danegeld you never get rid of the Dane”

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 25, 2022 5:02 pm

One only needs to study the second world war to see that domestic industry is a deciding factor in international conflicts.

Gerard O'Dowd
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 25, 2022 9:31 pm

Corporate Financial metrics like consistent gross profit margins, operating margins after SGA expenses, percentage of free cash flow FCF after capital exp, and returns on assets ROA and ROE played a role in the popularity of corporate restructuring, mergers, spin offs, automation, and off shoring of heavy capital intensive, manufacturing, and labor intensive process industrial divisions. Some refer to this as an “asset light” corporate operating strategy. IT manufacturers desire to be like software companies. Most of the Silicon Valley IT giants have emphasized and perfected it: Apple, Cisco, QualComm, AMD, NVIDiA are examples. After CAD, they contract their electronic device manufacturer to Taiwan SemiConductor, United Micro, FoxConn. Samsung, Micron Tech, Intel, IBM, ADI, and TI do their own manufacturing in house in multiple locations around the world. US and European corporations (KLA, Lam Research, Applied Materials, and ASML) are still market leaders of the development and manufacturer of semiconductor fabrication tooling: masking, circuit testing, metric, chemical deposition, cleaning, involving hundreds of different steps of the manufacturing of semiconductor chips. The US semiconductor fabrication facilities manufacture <15% of annual global DRAM, Flash memory and CPU chips. Taiwan corporations are the semiconductor manufacturing contractors of choice with about 60% of devices made with the smallest transistor dimensions (greatest transistor density) the most advanced and challenging to make. TSI is investing $100 Billion in cap ex to maintain its lead and improve its fabrication processes. Intel has fallen behind in this race. Asian capital is being invested in US facilities thanks to the threat of Red China invading Taiwan. TLTL. In the drive to maximal ROA, ROE, FCF the US electronic device manufacturing is largely done off shore. It’s too toxic for the ESG Blue Check brigade. This asset light strategy might have been done to bolster balance sheets, to lower corporate debt to equity ratios, but total US corporate debt increased dramatically during the recent era of low interest rates since the Great Recession-though not in all cases. FCF is reinvested in the business, acquisitions, and increase shareholder returns by increasing dividends and share purchases.

Lachlan flawse
Reply to  Gerard O'Dowd
February 26, 2022 12:26 pm

Your currency is TOTALLY mispriced. It is waaaaaayyyy over-valued. Your chronic and severe CAD, that has now been running for 50 years, tells you this. Constantly!!!!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 26, 2022 3:37 am

all I know is that every town in Massachusetts has a large number of empty, rotting factory buildings

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 26, 2022 8:17 am

Supply chain problems were caused by government banning older trucks. That would have happened even if all manufacturing was on-shore. As to cheaper meaning poorer quality, you aren’t old enough to remember Japanese cars vs Detroit junkers.

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 4:35 pm

Now that there is a perfect example of a stupid statement 🙂

william Johnston
Reply to  LdB
February 25, 2022 5:08 pm

Must have forgotten the /s tag.

Reply to  LdB
February 25, 2022 8:20 pm

OR a sarcastic one.

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 4:37 pm

Yes, financial market manipulation and Swiss banking for the tyrants does pay off.

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 4:37 pm

LOL, there is a world glut of baristas 😉

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 4:43 pm

The UK has the advantage of sitting at the crux of several major trade routes,as well as being a historic interbanking nexus. We’ve been an important network hub for along time, too. A services economy only works if you can supply services people want. The swiss figured that one out a long time ago.

Leo Smith
Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 5:55 pm

UK has a surprisingly high level of manufacturing. Research it.
No shame about Germany. They are smug, rich and con artists.They deserve a bloody nose.

Lachlan flawse
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 26, 2022 12:31 pm

Check out the UK Current Account Deficits which are financed by selling your heritage to foreigners, especially Russia and ME, and by debt which you owe to foreign interests..

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 25, 2022 6:02 pm

Liar. From wikipedia (“French economy”), the French GDP is €3.2 trillion, and its agricultural sector is worth $60 billion. Sorry for the dissimilar currencies, but the two are close enough for such an insignificant percentage.

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 26, 2022 1:26 am

Goods worth 213.2 billion euros were traded between Germany and the People’s Republic of China in 2020

U.S. goods exports to China in 2020 were $124.5 billion

213 billion euros is 239 billion dollars

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 28, 2022 3:42 am

I forwarded a link to this article to a fellow chemical engineer that works for Siemens and this is his report:
” Yes, the energy industry is quite interesting these days. My day to day is working with fossil fuels. In general, I feel there are too many agendas that suggest renewable energy is just around the corner, and there are many nontechnical people that watch the media, believe the hype, and reinforce the notion… but those believers have very little idea on how they really get power. They also don’t appreciate the level of ground water pollution that occurs to get rare earth metals that allow EV’s and Batteries to function.”

February 25, 2022 2:11 pm

Solar panels and wind turbines are fossil fuel batteries. The energy in upfront to manufacture, transport and install is then inefficiently extracted over the life of the product.

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
February 25, 2022 4:18 pm

That is an exquisite analogy. They take a perfectly good store of energy that has stood the test of time over hundreds of millions of years and convert it into something that starts out shiny; produces energy sporadically over a few years; loses its lustre and utility then has to be disposed of at significant cost.

Worse than useless.

Jacques Dumon
February 25, 2022 2:12 pm

Very funny, indeed !

Gordon A. Dressler
February 25, 2022 2:27 pm

Well, among things, climate change™ has lately been claimed to be a cause of falling stock market prices.

Therefore, I guess that it is only fitting that a change in the climate for investing in “green renewables” takes its turn in the shooting gallery.

February 25, 2022 2:32 pm

What will happen to largest industrial scale wind project in Ontario that has Siemen’s turbines with 15 more years left in it’s long term contract?

Reply to  Sommer
February 25, 2022 3:58 pm

There would be some wisdom in separating the wind energy business from the rest of the manufacturing business. It limits liability and Ontario may be one that carries the burden.

Reply to  Sommer
February 25, 2022 4:44 pm

I have never understood people who think long-term product guarantees of quality, performance and maintenance contracts, not underwritten by a tradeable unconditional commercial bank guarantee or insurance policy, are worthy of any value. Without a doubt, these liabilities are corralled in 2-bit paper companies that are regularly rolled over and terminated … and there goes your unsupported guarantees and maintenance.

Reply to  Sommer
February 25, 2022 5:25 pm

with 15 more years left in it’s long term contract?”

Contract with who and held by whom?
Are you stating the 15 year maintenance contract is with Siemens and held by the wind project?
Or is the contract between Ontario and ??

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Sommer
February 25, 2022 6:37 pm

What will happen to largest industrial scale wind project in Ontario that has Siemen’s turbines with 15 more years left in it’s long term contract?”

They’ll probably be getting cell-phone calls for years afterword, wanting to talk about “their extended wind turbine warranty.”

February 25, 2022 2:34 pm

Hey! Siemens! I’m sure Burch makes a ton of money for screwing up the company and the investors in the process, I’d do it for much less. Which on the good side would save the company a bit of bucks. And, I’d do it from home.
Wind and solar are a bust. Financially and environmentally. Bail out of the manufacturing of these loser technologies. Get back to building products which have some use and bring a return to the investor’s dollars.
Bowing to the greenies is foolhardy and a dead end. Especially in the dead of winter and the panels don’t see the sun, and the turbines have no wind or freeze up. Damn, these guys are stupid.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RevJay4
February 25, 2022 3:28 pm

Sounds good, but Leftist/Green ideologically-driven governmental policies wreck all manufacturing sectors, not just solar and wind. There are some severe Western security problems when Russian and Chinese tanks, artillery, planes, rockets, electronics & etc. are cheaper and of better quality. Destroying one’s industrial base has consequences, as does elections.

Pop Piasa
February 25, 2022 2:36 pm

I think the companies who will survive all this self-destructive, so-called renewables SCAM are the ones who make a token effort by adjusting their PR propaganda but are hesitant to make any large investments in the “save the planet” scheme.

I think the renewables industry exists in order to bankrupt the western societies and create a need for global reorganization and a reset of the world order.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
February 25, 2022 3:28 pm

I’m not through ranting yet.
The solution to energy poverty lies in energy density, not the gleaning of spare energy left-over from our natural surroundings. These devices are only as renewable as the materials that they are composed of. Furthermore, they will not produce as much energy as it took to construct them, in the course of their lifetimes.
They offer power where grid power is unavailable. That is their practical function. To use them to power the grid is frankly irresponsible and idiotic.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Pop Piasa
February 25, 2022 4:20 pm

I’m not through ranting yet.”

Good! 😊 Very good. I haven’t seen you in a long time and was concerned… . I prayed for you!

Take care, Pop. Soon, those wildflowers will be blooming once again.

comment image

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 25, 2022 4:34 pm

Wonderful to be in touch with you, Janice. I guess we here in Illinois will be seeing an extended winter, just like I remember from the early 70’s. I see no bulbs sprouting yet. The warm nights of recent decades don’t seem to be happening this year.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Pop Piasa
February 25, 2022 5:23 pm

Not up here about an hour north of Seattle, WA, either. Brrrr. My shed has been pretty cold the past several nights. 🥶 And then, you come along and warm my heart 😊 .

Take heart! The daffodils know… standing tall and resolute in their green jackets. Spring is on the way!

comment image

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Janice Moore
February 25, 2022 6:09 pm

I enjoy watching the contrasts of weather between the midwest and northwest (my sister lives in Boise). Seems that they tend to be opposite much of the time. When we are wet, you are dry, and the same often goes for temperature anomalies. The established teleconnections of the Madden-Julian Oscillation seem to support that too.

Reply to  Janice Moore
February 26, 2022 8:39 am

Daffodils bloom in late March north of Seattle. No daffs yet. Earlier in the week there were all-time low temperature records for the day set in most places in Western Washington.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Meab
February 26, 2022 10:07 am

Meab. Why did you think you needed to tell me that? The daffodils, RIGHT NOW (I walk past some every morning — about 1 hour due north of Seattle) are standing about 8 inches tall in their green jackets. I suppose I should have added that they still have their hoods down, firmly tied around their chins.

I posted a photo from another year to give us HOPE and CHEER.


Reply to  Pop Piasa
February 25, 2022 6:21 pm

Furthermore, they will not produce as much energy as it took to construct them, in the course of their lifetimes.

That is a charge often made. Clearly, since they are intermittent in a variety of ways, delivering a generally poor capacity factor, they are less than a sterling example of o good idea. However, in spite of the frequently made charge, I have yet to see the slightest dollop of documentation to go along with it. Can you do any better?

Reply to  AndyHce
February 26, 2022 2:45 am

If some knowledgeable engineer can do this costing, it will be interesting to see the additional cost of keeping gas fired backup running on idle to cover the period when the wind doesn’t blow.
We have had a run of windy days here in the UK. Have the gas power stations been switched off or have they been running ready to ramp up when the wind stops blowing?
I see that coal generation has been ticking over at about 1 GW during this windy period whereas it used to be shut down completely.
Is this because coal provides a cheaper form of grid inertia than gas at the current prices?

February 25, 2022 2:53 pm

Good news is that Siemens is not yet bankrupt, the bad news is that was yesterday.
In the breeze blades are humming a tune
Gliding on it are dreams of fortune
While forests of windmills bend and sway
Siemens blew its investors money away.

Reply to  Vuk
February 25, 2022 4:47 pm

Bravo ! 🙂

Peter W
February 25, 2022 2:54 pm

Given the obvious losses from wind energy, at least the birds will have a chance to survive.

Rud Istvan
February 25, 2022 3:00 pm

Siemens should never have acquired Gamesa. It did for green stock cred. It could because the company was already in trouble as Spanish renewable subsidies diminished. Siemens stated plan at the time was to take it more international, never reckoning that subsidies almost everywhere would be diminishing. Warren Buffett once famously said, when a good management wrestles with a bad business, the bad business almost always wins.

And, there is a second problem. China ‘controls’ rare earths because it ignores the environmental processing consequences. Those are needed for wind turbine generator permanent magnets. So an inherent cost disadvantage from the outset.

There is increasing financial stress thruout the renewables industry—manufacturers as here, installers, operators. Way beyond Solyndra. Think Ivanpah. Gamesa is just another example. That is a good thing. The higher the subsidized renewable penetration, the more clearly the need for costly underutilized backup capacity and the lack of grid inertia causing voltage instability become.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 25, 2022 3:55 pm

Rud, I can’t help but wonder who will subsidize Volkswagen group after their little brush with renewable auto design glitches.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 25, 2022 6:29 pm

It has now been replace with something more current, but earlier this morning Climate Etc’s link to something of possible interest on Twitter was about a claim floating around that any need for grid reliability or stability is nothing more than a climate denialists’ conspiracy theory.

Gregory Woods
February 25, 2022 3:04 pm

I believe the word is ‘irony’….

Iain Russell
February 25, 2022 3:11 pm

Coal: China, Japan, India and Indonesia, not China alone. Why are Westerners so stooopid?

Reply to  Iain Russell
February 25, 2022 3:20 pm

It’s not that they are stupid, it’s that those in charge have a different agenda.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Iain Russell
February 25, 2022 4:11 pm

Guilt can be very effective in making people do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.

Ben Vorlich
February 25, 2022 3:20 pm

It’s ironic really. Renewables make for expensive energy, so expensive the EU and UK can’t afford to make renewable generation hardware as cheaply as China which uses huge amounts of fossil fuel to make cheaper renewable generation kit to the EU and UK.

The UK has solved the problem of no manufacturing industry by selling and delivering fast food to each other.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 25, 2022 4:12 pm

The proverbial snake eating its own tail.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 25, 2022 4:49 pm

… and putting a coffee cart on every corner !

Leo Smith
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 25, 2022 6:04 pm

I see. And who makes caterpillar earth movers, half the worlds jet engines, machine tools on a grand scalle….deigned a Cpu that outsells intel by ten,
Silly American consumer thinks that if he doesn’t have it in hid house, it doesn’t exist.
Britain doesn’t do consumer manufacruring, It does industrial manufacturing to a global market.
And leaves the irrelevant tat to China.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 26, 2022 1:19 am

Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi in that order
General Electric + Pratt & Whitney+ CFM + Aero-Engine Group of China,
Apple A14 Bionic, Samsung

Next question, the UK is small fry. Apart from yeast based spreads, perhaps.

February 25, 2022 3:23 pm

The west are fools being lead around by China.

Reply to  Bob
February 25, 2022 4:36 pm

Pretty sure Russia is doing some good schooling of it’s own right now …. but don’t worry we will impose meaningless sanctions 🙂

Robert W Turner
February 25, 2022 3:38 pm

This must be fake news because I have it on good authority from gender study majors that wind and solar are bankrupting fossil fuels on account of how cheap they are and we’ll be ‘carbon-free’ soon.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Robert W Turner
February 25, 2022 4:13 pm

I think that the original source on that was griff.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 25, 2022 6:31 pm

Is he/she actually the original source of anything?

February 25, 2022 3:38 pm

the german company that survived WWI and WWII?

Reply to  billtoo
February 25, 2022 3:53 pm

Did you say “prospered”?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  billtoo
February 25, 2022 3:56 pm

Yes.Decades ago I was a lead strategic consultant to them while living almost 6 years near their Munich HQ.
An exemplary Siemens business story. So, they had acquired a lighting subsidiary OSRAM. My consulting assignment was to figure out why it wasn’t profitable. We found two things:

  1. Their manufacturing investment in ‘leuchstufflampen’ (fluorescent tubes) involved flipping them end to end for cap sealing. Everybody else in the world held them horizontal and rotated. So as Siemens tried to speedup production to keep pace , they just broke more.
  2. They had failed to invest at all in next gen EU (Sodium high pressure, yellow) street lights because they loved leuchstufflampen. So Philips NV got about a 100% market share as street lighting changed from their now broken flourescent tubes to something consuming about 10% of the electricity.

Lesson from the 1980’s. German engineers are good. German executives, not so much. Observation still applies to Nordstream 2 and PDJT comments about it.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 26, 2022 2:27 pm

So right about Siemens execs. In the last half of the 1990s I was with a company that had a worldwide data network. The had been trying to offer voice services on it. We were researching the feasibility of using a new technology called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), looking at delay, packet loss, reliability, prioritization, echo, etc. instead of traditional switched circuits. We found that we were perfectly positioned to deliver VOIP (lots of data, small % of voice.)

We then investigated what direction R&D was going in universities, start-up companies, and new investments. Everything was going to TCP-
IP. That was going to be the future.

Paid a visit to the Siemens telephone switch division, looked at their facilities, and had a working lunch with execs way above my pay grade. When asked where the were wrt VOIP, they said, nowhere it was not on their radar. Their division was gone in less than six years. Within ten years Siemens was exiting the entire central office switch market.

Flexibility and evolution were not their strong suits.

Smart Rock
Reply to  billtoo
February 25, 2022 5:12 pm

And makes good nuclear power plants (which no one is buying because, well, you know, they’re ….. nuclear)

George Daddis
February 25, 2022 3:59 pm

The Alarmists love to talk about the “tipping point”.

Is it possible we may be close to the “tipping point” in the US regarding the Climate Scare”?

Are people waking up to the fact that continuing in that direction is becoming a more than easy virtue signaling (changing lightbulbs, or going “whole hog” and driving a Prius) and that the policies are now impacting Slo Joe’s “kitchen table” issues?? Are some of their backers starting to see the the whole thing is as serious as a SNL skit?

  • Siemens (and others) losing profits and impacting 401ks
  • Germany’s home electric bills went from a par with the US to #X
  • John Kerry hoping Putin wages war with the climate goals in mind
  • Enabling the invasion of Ukraine by making the US energy dependent and thus providing Putin with leverage and funds to wage war (this need to be pounded on daily)
  • The unavoidable fact that the recent pact giving Russian Coal to China, whose INCREASE in the future will erase any benefit to the lowering of global CO2 levels even if the US went to zero (see Kerry, John)
  • The so-called “Climate” provisions in the BBB bill (or any successors) have little to do with global warming and are instead Social Justice entitlements, despite the Squad’s handwaving

I can dream can’t I?

February 25, 2022 4:09 pm

And another one bites the dust. Renewable energy “investors” are nothing but virtue signalers.

Reply to  markl
February 25, 2022 4:52 pm

It is a business of the redistribution of wealth from the stoopid ‘investors’ to the wealthy executives and their puppet masters.

February 25, 2022 4:13 pm

You do not need an engineering degree to work out that the energy it takes to build, transport and erect solar and wind energy extractors and associated essential storage system can never be recovered over the operating lifetime of those components of current technology.

It is a losing game. The strategy places human destiny on a downward spiral to subsistence living and depopulation.

Surely Siemens have the in-house knowledge to do the sums. I am not a Siemens shareholder but it is a question that should be put to their board – have you done the sums?

Reply to  RickWill
February 25, 2022 6:38 pm

You do not need an engineering degree to work out that the energy it takes to build, transport and erect solar and wind energy extractors and associated essential storage system can never be recovered over the operating lifetime of those components of current technology.

See my comment to Pop Piasa above. Can you do better with any sort of documentation? I would really like to know if there is any truth to the charge.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  AndyHce
February 26, 2022 6:56 am

Have a look at

They say that it could in theory be true for turbines placed in poor locations but in a good site the energy payback could be in 3years or less.

However they do not consider the effect of any storage systems associated with unreliables.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  AndyHce
February 26, 2022 10:56 am

I have your documentation right here on WUWT 7 years ago:

Shocker: Top Google Engineers Say Renewable Energy ‘Simply won’t work’
A research effort by Google corporation to make renewable energy viable has been a complete failure, according to the scientists who led the programme. After 4 years of effort, their conclusion is that renewable energy “simply won’t work”.

Even if one were to electrify all of transport, industry, heating and so on, so much renewable generation and balancing/storage equipment would be needed to power it that astronomical new requirements for steel, concrete, copper, glass, carbon fibre, neodymium, shipping and haulage etc etc would appear. All these things are made using mammoth amounts of energy: far from achieving massive energy savings, which most plans for a renewables future rely on implicitly, we would wind up needing far more energy, which would mean even more vast renewables farms – and even more materials and energy to make and maintain them and so on. The scale of the building would be like nothing ever attempted by the human race.
I’ll let you look up the full articles for complete details…..

February 25, 2022 4:35 pm

This is where the giveaway of intellectual property to China becomes the nail in the coffin.

February 25, 2022 4:40 pm

Good move, actually. They spin off a business which has a risk of catastrophic failure to remove some of their exposure. Now when Siemens Energy fails, it will not threaten to parent company quite so bad. All they have to do now is sell their remaining holdings to some “green” investment company and they are home free. With any luck, they will be able to sell to some investment firm which does ESG, Environmental Social and Governance investing. I hear that is all rave in Woke investing. The new buyer will certainly get what they deserve.

Reply to  TonyL
February 25, 2022 9:34 pm

As long as it is not anybodies retirement fund. That is what divestment campaigns target.

Mike Smith
February 25, 2022 5:48 pm

So all the leading manufacturers of wind turbines are losing money.

Some are betting on offshore wind but I confidently predict that will be far more risky.

Reply to  Mike Smith
February 25, 2022 6:39 pm

So all the leading manufacturers of wind turbines are losing money.

Where did you get that?

Mike Smith
Reply to  AndyHce
February 26, 2022 9:23 am

According to the FT article referenced in the post:

* SGRE booked a €289mn loss
* GE said its wind division booked a $312mn loss
* Vestas warns of further turbulence for wind turbine makers
That’s pretty much the top 3 companies in wind.

Reply to  Mike Smith
February 27, 2022 1:30 am

I assume that the Chinese ones are still making money?

Leo Smith
February 25, 2022 5:53 pm

Green woke and broke.

Allen Stoner
February 25, 2022 6:17 pm

How much energy from ground to reburial/recycling does a wind turbine consume? How much does it produce in that same time?

Barry Anthony
Reply to  Allen Stoner
February 27, 2022 8:46 am

A wind turbine recoups the initial carbon/energy footprint required in all aspects of mining, refining, manufacturing, transportation, and installation within 5-8 months of operation. Throughout the life of the dynamics housed in the nacelle, a wind turbine will return at least 25 times the energy expended in its manufacturing. And, given that the bulk of the energy footprint is represented in the tower and foundation, refurbishing/replacing the components in the nacelle when they reach end of life significantly amortizes that footprint. And, yes, the blades can and are being recycled.

Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 11:19 am

If Wind is so efficient, why does it need subsidies?

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Barry Anthony
March 1, 2022 12:58 pm

I call BS. Give us some numbers with sources, especially about recycling.

Walter Sobchak
February 25, 2022 6:44 pm

“There is an obvious explanation for why Asia is undercutting European manufacturing so badly – the Chinese economy is powered by coal.”

Don’t forget the slaves in their gulag.

Barry Anthony
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 27, 2022 8:33 am

>>“There is an obvious explanation for why Asia is undercutting European manufacturing so badly – the Chinese economy is powered by coal.”<< China is installing wind and solar capacity faster than any other country in the world. And if you take the US out of the mix, it’s installing this capacity faster than all other countries combined.

February 25, 2022 7:50 pm

UN rated developing nations are relying on coal fired power stations to generate electricity for their growing manufacturing industries and other consumers including providing electricity connection for millions of citizens.

Meanwhile the developed nations are ………

michael hart
February 25, 2022 10:25 pm

I guess their problem is that they haven’t yet moved all production out to China or other low-energy cost countries.

February 26, 2022 1:22 am

No comment then on how disastrous losses on their nuclear reactor business are impacting French energy firm EDF?

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
February 26, 2022 2:07 am

Huge losses by British Leyland /Austin-Rover / Rootes Group didn’t prove motor manufacturing was a failed industry, just that these companies were no good at it for whatever reason. This applies to all of human endeavour

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 1:37 am

Why not comment on all the new and varied nuclear reactors that China is building instead?

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 3:22 am

Rising energy prices from the unfolding renewables fiasco will rescue EDF – and then some.

February 26, 2022 5:28 am


February 26, 2022 7:13 am

Get woke? Go broke!

February 26, 2022 7:49 am

“Everybody is looking for a silver bullet which . . . makes [energy] sustainable overnight,” Bruch told the Financial Times

Correction: Activists and politicians have been looking for silver bullets.
The rest of us have a working knowledge of how energy generation and distribution work.

Reply to  DaveinCalgary
February 27, 2022 1:45 am

I never understood that fake call for sustainability.
What’s not sustainable about a modern coal or gas power plant? At least a hundred or more years of resources for each.
Why are resource hogs like wind turbines and solar panels called sustainable if they require orders of magnitude increases in mining?

We truly live in a world full of doublespeak.

James Bull
February 26, 2022 1:57 pm


Bit like go woke go broke!
Go green and loose your green.

James Bull

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