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18 Dec 2019, 13:28
Benjamin Wehrmann

German wind industry faces same grim fate as country's solar industry – Senvion CEO

Capital

The wind power industry in Germany is facing challenges similar to those the country's solar power companies were having a few years ago and it could wane into insignificance if the current challenges are not overcome, Yves Rannou, CEO of insolvent turbine manufacturer Senvion, told business magazine Capital in an interview. "Everything is falling apart right now," Rannou said with a view to the key skills and supply chains that have defined the wind industry in Germany, a "pioneer" country for wind power technology. "I cannot comprehend why the government would accept that a technology of the future and key industrial competencies that Germany built up for years are being destroyed," Rannou said. The CEO of the bankrupt manufacturer conceded that policymakers could not be blamed for Senvion's troubles, which he said were also due to the company's reluctance to expand abroad. But the government's wind power regulation ultimately "pushed us over the fence," he added. Rannou is expecting further consolidation in Europe's wind power markets.

After a sudden boom in the early 2000s, Germany's solar industry suffered a collapse around 2010 due to heavy competition from Chinese manufacturers who were able to benefit from renewables support policies in Germany by offering solar panels at a much lower price. Many German solar power pioneer companies went bankrupt in the process but the national industry has since regained confidence due to good business in panel installations.

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