(OE) Big Western wind turbine makers need direct financial support to make the investments needed to aid decarbonisation, Siemens Gamesa’s operating chief said on Tuesday.
The challenge for a turbine maker like Siemens Gamesa, a unit of Germany’s Siemens Energy ENR1n.DE, to grow is that it needs to invest billions of euros but does have the cash flow.
“We need cash. It’s all about cash,” Tim Dawidowsky told an energy conference organized by Esade in Madrid.
“The energy transition for sure needs wind as one of the strong pillars. On the other hand, with all the support from the European Union and around the world, the main elements of that value chain, meaning the ones who need to provide these little turbines that make the trick at the end, are losing billions.”
When it comes to public support, the U.S Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), has “one huge advantage” over European subsidies, Dawidowsky added. “You create jobs, and in return you get cash right away.”
“I can build a plant in U.S. cash neutral,” he said, adding that this was “impossible in Europe”.
Loss-making legacy contracts, as well as supply chain issues and the challenging ramp-up of its offshore activities, have been a drag on Siemens Gamesa in the past couple of years.
It booked a 374 million euro ($412 million) loss in the quarter ending March 31, results from Siemens Energy showed.
Dawidowsky said there is a risk wind turbine makers end up taking capacity off the market “in order to make the turbine a luxury good and increase price”.