recentpopularlog in

jerryking : solar   22

GE and Siemens: power pioneers flying too far from the sun
November 12, 2017 | FT | by Ed Crooks in New York and Patrick McGee in Frankfurt.

Rivals GE and Siemens both face difficult challenges ahead with the threats emanating in the 21st century from the renewable energy revolution that risks rendering obsolete their century-old strengths in supplying equipment for the electricity industry.....As the costs of solar and wind power have plunged, making them cheaper than fossil fuel generation in many parts of the world, the traditional model of the industry has changed. Capital spending on the new technologies has soared. Battery storage is also starting to be a cost-effective solution for supporting the grid, challenging the market for “peaker” gas turbines that are used when demand is at its highest. Yet both groups have taken positions in renewable energy but have stumbled along the way.

The result is that GE and Siemens are being forced to drive down costs dramatically in their core power businesses. Siemens is looking to cut thousands of jobs in its power and gas unit....while both groups face a turbulent environment, the immediate outlook is considerably brighter at Siemens, which appears to be better positioned to adjust to the disruption sweeping through the energy industry....GE’s 2017 has been a disaster.....GE's CEO, John Flannery, has already moved fast to signal his intentions: clearing out many top executives, grounding corporate jets, stopping the cars provided to senior managers, cutting back the network of global research centres and promising to sell peripheral and underperforming businesses worth up to $20bn....GE's sales of aeroderivative gas turbines, used to support grids at times of peak load, were half the planned numbers, while sales of packages for improving the performance of gas-fired plants were just a third of projections.....“All major vendors got the market [i.e. for gas turbines] wrong,” ...The next big worry is servicing for turbines — once a gold mine but one that is bound to decline as new orders fall. With turbines being sold at no margin or sometimes at a loss, competition for servicing contracts is heating up, further eroding margins.

For the foreseeable future, the gas turbine market is likely to remain difficult,...“The question is whether this is just a cyclical problem, or whether there is something structural in the industry that is really starting to cause problems.”

There is good reason to think that it is structural, given the plunge in solar and wind costs. ... “a combination of rooftop solar and battery storage could make economic sense in India, African countries and other places where they don’t have well-developed power grids”......According to the IEA, in 2016 $316bn was invested in renewable energy worldwide last year, almost three times as much as the $117bn in fossil fuel power generation.....If Mr Flannery founders, then breaking up GE might come to seem like the only option left to investors. It would not magically dispel the problems of the business, and would be difficult because of the group’s complex tax position and liabilities, including insurance claims dating from before GE pulled out of the industry in 2004-2006.

To avoid a break-up, GE might follow the template Siemens created in 2014 for a more decentralised structure. Mr Kaeser calls it a “fleet of ships” model, with divisions becoming semi-autonomous and separately listed. Siemens’ largest division, its medical equipment unit, is scheduled to list next year.

“The time of old-fashioned conglomerates is over,” he says. “They are definitely not going to survive.”
CEOs  Siemens  GE  industrial_age  founders  19th_century  decentralization  conglomerates  renewable  obsolescence  solar  batteries  cost-cutting  turnarounds  divestitures  wind_power  under-performing  power_grid  electric_power 
november 2017 by jerryking
The Race to Solar-Power Africa | The New Yorker
June 26, 2017 Issue
The Race to Solar-Power Africa
American startups are competing to bring electricity to communities that remain off the grid.

By Bill McKibben
Africa  energy  solar  green  start_ups  renewable  alternative_energy  power_grid 
july 2017 by jerryking
Pinstripe Greens
Nov. 5, 2011 | The Financial Times. p14.| by Pilita Clark
cleantech  alternative_energy  solar  green 
november 2011 by jerryking
Spanish Sunburn - Bloomberg
Oct 19, 2010 | Bloomberg Markets Magazine | By Ben Sills.
solar  Spain  photovoltaic 
november 2010 by jerryking
You Can't Get There From Here -
JUNE 30, 2008 WSJ article by By JONATHAN SHIEBER on the
transmission system required to get alternative energy generated in
remote parts to the population centres where folks live and where it
will be consumed.
alternative_energy  solar  wind_power  transmission  utilities 
february 2009 by jerryking
Shedding Light on Solar -
JUNE 30, 2008 WSJ article By YULIYA CHERNOVA explaining why solar is so expensive. Polysilicon.
alternative_energy  solar  energy 
february 2009 by jerryking
Power Plays -
Feb. 11, 2008 WSJ column by Yuliya Chernova and Jonathan
Shieber listing alternative energy deals from Dow Jones Clean Technology
Investor. There are other similar columns with the same name so search
Delicious for ""Power Plays" WSJ"
venture_capital  alternative_energy  solar  biomass  power_plays 
february 2009 by jerryking
Betting on Green -
Feb. 11, 2008 WSJ article by Rebecca Buckman on where VCs are
making investments in clean energy companies. Also picks up on setbacks in the biofuel sector.
cleantech  renewable  venture_capital  investors  vc  alternative_energy  green  demand_response  solar  biofuels  Rebecca_Buckman 
february 2009 by jerryking
The New Math of Alternative Energy -
Feb. 12, 2007 WSJ article by Rebecca Smith on how the calculus
of whether to invest in renewable energy is starting to look less
daunting as oil and gas prices rise.
cleantech  energy  economics  alternative_energy  wind_power  intermittency  solar  biomass  geothermal  biofuels  renewable 
february 2009 by jerryking - Put it where the sun does shine
G&M article by Kathy Flaxman detailing the array of solar energy options for Canadian households.
alternative_energy  solar  renewable  cleantech 
january 2009 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:

to read