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Siemens to pull out of solar business, paving way for new breed

German engineering giant Siemens said on Monday it plans to pull out of solar energy where business expectations have not been met and is currently negotiating to sell its activities in this area.

“The company plans to divest its solar business activities and is currently holding talks with potential buyers on this subject. Siemens intends to focus its renewable energy activities on wind and hydro power,” the group said in a statement.

“The energy division will be slimmed down and the Solar and Hydro Division will be discontinued,” it said, adding that the Solar and Hydro Division generated revenue “in the low triple-digit millions” in the business year ended September 30, 2012 and has “roughly 800 employees.”

Siemens explained that the solar business had not been as profitable as hoped.

“Due to the changed framework conditions, lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets, the company’s expectations for its solar energy activities have not been met,” it said.

The global market for concentrated solar power had shrunk from four gigawatts to slightly more than one gigawatt, it explained.

In future, the renewable energy business would focus on hydro power and wind energy and the overall energy sector “will comprise the divisions of fossil power generation; wind power; oil and gas and power transmission,” Siemens said.

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