GREEN PANIC: Siemens Energy shares crash 37% after admitting wind turbine troubles
By Richard Brown // Nov 02, 2023

The shares of energy firm Siemens Energy took a nosedive on Oct. 23, plunging by 37 percent as it issued a warning about challenges in its wind turbine business.

Siemens Gamesa, its wind energy business division, is actively addressing these challenges – which include turbine quality issues and offshore ramp-up problems. These issues had been previously tackled in its third-quarter communication for the fiscal year 2023. According to its parent, Siemens Gamesa is presently not finalizing new contracts for specific onshore platforms and is practicing stringent selectivity in its offshore business.

Consequently, it anticipates that order intake and revenue for fiscal year 2024 will fall below market expectations, while net losses and cash outflow are expected to exceed market forecasts. Soaring inflation costs have hindered the sector's expansion and disrupted major projects precisely when their output is most critical.

In response to these challenges, Siemens Energy's Executive Board is assessing a range of measures to bolster the company's financial standing. It is in preliminary discussions with various stakeholders, including banking partners and the German government, to secure access to an increasing volume of guarantees needed to support the anticipated robust growth.

Two months ago, the world's largest offshore wind farm developer, Orsted A/S, experienced a significant share price drop in Copenhagen trading, attributing the problem to a dire situation in U.S. offshore wind projects. The challenges are related to inflation, high interest rates, and supply chain disruptions, potentially leading the company to consider abandoning U.S. offshore projects.

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This predicament isn't limited to wind energy. Just last week, solar equipment manufacturer SolarEdge Technologies witnessed a substantial drop in its shares, primarily due to declining demand in Europe.

The term "green panic," coined a few months ago, accurately describes the current situation. The renewable energy bubble, particularly under the Biden administration, is facing significant challenges amid the deteriorating macroeconomic environment.

Siemens Energy in talks with Berlin for a BAILOUT

Siemens Energy also revealed that it is exploring various measures to fortify its financial position and is engaged in discussions with the German government about potential state guarantees. This situation coincides with a brewing financial crisis in the offshore wind energy sector.

The company is currently in discussions with the German government to secure up to €16 billion ($16.9 billion) in state guarantees as issues affecting its wind-turbine division spread to other areas of the business. It has been seeking these guarantees for over two years while holding talks with banks. (Related: German gas giant asks Berlin for BAILOUT as country faces energy crisis.)

The importance of these guarantees has grown as earlier this year, the company projected a €4.5 billion ($4.8 billion) loss for fiscal 2024, despite assurances that it had devised a plan to address problems with specific wind turbines. In July, S&P downgraded its credit rating to BBB-minus with a stable outlook from BBB with a negative outlook.

While Siemens Energy has been conducting a comprehensive review of its turbine unit, the final findings have yet to be revealed.

Siemens Energy experienced its most significant intra-day share price drop since its separation from the Siemens AG conglomerate in September 2020. The sharp decline triggered multiple trading halts and resulted in a reduction of the manufacturer's market capitalization by approximately €3.4 billion ($3.6 billion). This marked the largest decline for a stock listed on Germany's DAX index since the Wirecard collapse in June 2020.

The paper value of Siemens AG's stake in Siemens Energy also suffered a reduction of over €800 million, with its shares declining by as much as 5.9 percent. Siemens Energy stated that it is engaged in continuous discussions with all relevant parties and will make decisions in the best interests of Siemens AG and its shareholders.

Although Siemens Energy does not face immediate liquidity problems, the guarantees are crucial for securing the financing required for longer-term projects, particularly in its gas and power division.

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Watch Tony Lambert expose the myths about wind turbines and solar energy in the video below.

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