Siemens cut nearly 7,000 jobs in the division that makes gas turbines for power generation. It said the downturn in the market this year had ‘caught us by surprise’ and now expects a global long term annual market of around 110 large systems. (This is perhaps 35 GW of capacity, compared to this year’s solar installations of about 100 GW, albeit with far lower average generation rates). World annual capacity to make these turbines runs at about 400, indicating why the company had to make the painful retrenchment. The job losses come just a few months after the company reported that ‘demand in the gas turbine market continued to grow in fiscal 2016’. Executives speaking to this week’s press conference blamed the completely unexpected fall in orders from the Middle East, pointing specifically to the Saudi decision to pivot to renewables. This is the clearest example I have seen of how the abrupt swing to renewables can take even the most sophisticated companies completely unawares. <Chris Goodall – carboncommentary.com>
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