Siemens Exits Tidal Power Industry Blaming Slow Development

Siemens AG has decided to sell its tidal power business, Marine Current Turbines Ltd., marking another blow for the struggling ocean-energy industry.

Siemens is looking to exit marine energy, saying the development of the market and the supply chain has taken longer to grow than it expected. The divestment will likely take “several months” to complete and affect 45 employees, it said in an e-mailed statement today.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the London-based researcher, in August revised down its 2020 capacity forecast for tidal power to 148 megawatts, about 11 percent less than previously estimated. It said technologies are taking longer to develop and costing more than expected.

While a tidal power industry of “critical size” will develop in the future, due to the “limited resources” it would be too much of a niche market for Siemens, it said in the statement. If buyers aren’t found it will consult with the affected employees, and if restructuring occurs then redeployment within the company will be prioritized, according to the statement.

Siemens in August halted work on a tidal-power project with MCT in Wales. At the time it said it was continuing to review its strategy for deployment and that it was in talks with suppliers and other “key stakeholders” on different opportunities.

Siemens was one of the first large industrial companies to enter the marine energy industry, fully acquiring MCT in February 2012. Since then Alstom SA bought Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc’s tidal generation-unit and DCNS SA bought a majority stake in OpenHydro Group Ltd., an Irish developer.

On Nov. 21 Pelamis Wave Power Ltd., a U.K. maker of wave power technologies, said it had been unable to raise the money it needed to continue development. EON AG stopped working with the company last year.

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