German air conditioning technology for America
fost daily, on average, one of the roughly 500 tonne giants leaves the plant in Cuxhaven – and is sometimes shipped across the North Sea all over the world. Siemens Gamesa has been manufacturing the towering nacelles for offshore wind turbines there since 2017. Some of the cargo ships also have the final destination Americawind power is to be greatly expanded there.
Since the American government under President Joe Biden launched the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a program worth around 370 billion dollars for green technologies, many local companies have been talking about a jolt in the market. Also the German energy technology group Siemens Energy is increasingly feeling the effects – whether it’s wind power on land or sea (Gamesa), the expansion of the electricity grid or electrolysers for hydrogen production.
“I am positive about the market. It’s crazy what is invested. There has never been so much growth in this industry,” said Energy CEO Christian Bruch recently during a press conference with a view to green technologies. In Europe and the USA, massive investments are being made everywhere in the energy transition in view of climate change. Europe is by far the most important market for the Dax group. The urgency for the expansion of renewable energies was finally made clear once again by the energy crisis resulting from the Ukraine war. According to the industry, Brussels and Berlin are also trying hard to speed up processes. However, lengthy approval procedures, an enormous bureaucratic effort and the often non-transparent funding criteria of local programs are still slowing down. What is different in the USA due to the IRA is the openness to technology and long-term planning, 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 listed independently on the stock exchange since autumn 2020.
“As much will be invested in the next 15 years as in the last 150 years”
In the first half of this fiscal year, which ends at the end of September, Siemens Energy booked orders from the USA worth around EUR 5.5 billion – after EUR 2.5 billion in the same period of the previous year. For comparison: from Europe, the Middle East and Africa it was around 13.3 billion euros in the same period, of which around 4.8 billion euros came from Germany. Of course, energy technology is a project business that often results in individual large orders that can distort the picture. Nevertheless, it is said everywhere at Siemens Energy that there is still a lot to come from America – and the German group wants to be prepared for this.
“The US has recognized the importance of power transmission and energy grid issues. 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 in the group that convert and transport electricity. Of course, given its outdated infrastructure, America also has a lot of catching up to do, even more so than is the case here. And in America, too, approval processes sometimes take many years, as Holt knows, who lives in Orlando, USA.