Reuters reports the German government, Siemens AG, and other parties will provide billions of euros in project-related guarantees to support Siemens AG’s struggling wind turbine division. This financial assistance comes just weeks after the company warned about mounting losses amid a meltdown across wind and solar industries.
Three people familiar with the talks said that Siemens Energy’s top shareholder, Siemens AG, with a 25.1% stake, is prepared to provide some guarantees. Details are still scant, and nothing has been decided, as an agreement needs to be formally drawn up and supported by all stakeholders.
Last month, Reuters said Siemens Energy was discussing state guarantees with the German government.
Here’s more on the report:
As a result, Siemens Energy fears it will struggle to secure guarantees from banks, and has approached the government and Siemens to obtain a guarantee framework, business news weekly WirtschaftsWoche said.
The weekly, which first reported the talks along with Spiegel magazine, said Siemens Energy is seeking up to 15 billion euros in guarantees.
The German state would assume liability for 80% of an initial 10 billion euro funding tranche, while banks would be liable for the remaining 20%, WirtschaftsWoche said.
A Siemens AG spokesperson said the company remained in “very constructive talks to define the best possible solution in the interests of all parties involved.”
Siemens Energy shares in Germany have crashed more than 70% since mid-June as it has abandoned its 2023 profit outlook after a review of its wind turbine unit revealed a billion euro problem. Shares were up 5% on Reuters’ report today.
Meanwhile, a financial crisis continues to accelerate across the wind industry, with the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer, Ørsted, pulling out of major US projects due to soaring inflation costs and a high-rate environment. And the renewable energy meltdown in wind has spread to solar as several solar power company stocks crashed on sliding demand.
And so, hot on the heels of Germany’s bailout of Siemens, Bloomberg reports that the UK government is preparing to offer significantly higher subsidies for new offshore wind farms to get the country’s clean-power strategy back on track after developers shunned a previous auction, because the price was too low for offshore wind to be viable.
Denmark’s Orsted A/S, the world’s largest offshore wind builder, will decide by December whether to proceed with a UK development, while Sweden’s Vattenfall AB shelved a giant project off the English coast earlier this year in response to soaring costs.
While higher subsidies in the next auction round, known as AR6, may well reinvigorate offshore wind development, it will likely feed through to increased electricity costs for consumers still burdened with sky-high bills in the wake of last year’s energy crisis.
The energy transition to renewables across the Western world is cracking. Remember, the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act was all about ‘sustainable’ wind power… Time for another bailout?