Status: 21/06/2022 17:00
Renewable energies are in demand like never before, but solar and wind energy companies like plant manufacturer Nordex still have problems. Why is this so – and is there still hope for the struggling industry?
On average, the approval of a wind turbine in Germany takes more than 22 months. But often even longer: four to five years are not uncommon in some federal states. This should change: more speed in the energy transition, also due to the war in Ukraine – this is a goal of the federal government. Plant growers should be in the mood for celebration, there really can be no better prospects. But nothing: Hamburg-based wind turbine manufacturer Nordex posted high losses in the first quarter.
Fierce competition and cost pressure
The bottom line is a minus of around 150 million. The Nordex share price has dropped to a two-year low at times. However, the whole industry has problems, explains Stefan Riss, capital market strategist at asset manager Acatis: “We can see from the Nordex data that a company that is not in the best position when it comes to cost management – it is in big problems because there are competitors, like the American General Electric, like the Danish Vestas, but also Chinese companies that produce cheaply “.
Strong competition on the one hand, cost pressure on the other. In particular, material costs have increased due to disruption of supply chains. But as the contracts were negotiated at fixed prices, wind turbine manufacturers are now in trouble. The Spanish subsidiary Siemens Siemens Gamesa also feels this. The group has been suffering losses for years, which is why it wants to close factories and cut jobs.
The production of rotor blades in Rostock is discontinued
Just like Nordex. The company will cease production of the rotor blades at the Rostock site at the end of June. About 600 employees are involved. According to estimates, 60,000 wind power jobs have already been transferred overseas over the past decade. This means that R&D expertise is also lost.
This is reminiscent of the collapse of the German solar industry. “The German wind energy industry faces a similar fate,” says Mauricio Vargas, an economist at Greenpeace. “Instead of promoting and further expanding wind energy, it has been slowed down. There is a tough price war and if the federal government doesn’t quickly create more favorable framework conditions here, it wouldn’t be surprising if wind energy leaves Germany. “
The federal government wants to avoid this and sets clear targets for the expansion of renewable energy: by 2030, for example, offshore wind, the so-called offshore wind, will more than triple and the approval procedures will be simplified and specific area specifications made.
Investors prefer the operator’s shares
In any case, the wind companies are confident, despite the currently very difficult situation. “If our federal government starts now, lays a clear foundation, allows for investment plans, and in the future, confidence is restored in the government that we really want to implement it together, then I can see we can do that,” says Heike Winkler, from the network of the wind energy industry WAB.
The odds aren’t bad that the wind industry will become a long-term economic engine, stock market professionals say, even as the share prices of wind turbine manufacturers are currently plummeting. Investors who invest in green stocks prefer to switch to wind farm operators like Encavis. The prices here are going up, thanks to a lot of wind on land and in the sea.