Siemens AG Kiboshes Solar, Rare Earth Neodymium Price Crashes

This could be terrible news for the future of renewable energy.

Siemens AG announced that it was shuttering its solar power unit because of plummeting costs in the sector, and the volatility of the solar and wind market in general, according to a Bloomberg article cited in Power Engineering. 

“The division shutdown will affect about 280 workers,” Bloomberg stated. “A spokesperson for Siemens told Bloomberg the company will finish several solar projects and the closure will cost a ‘double-digit million-euro’ sum.”

“Three years ago energy from the photovoltaic panel sector was 10 percent more expensive than solar-thermal, while now it is less than half as much,” according to data compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

It also can’t help that the EU economy has been poor for renewable energy market demand, to say nothing of demand for the metals used in the sector.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXOn MetalMiner’s weekly Renewables MMI®, neodymium finished as the week’s biggest mover with a 21.2 percent decline. Chinese steel plate finished the week after falling 5.7 percent. Chinese cobalt cathodes, however, rose by a slight 2.0 percent. The week finished with no movement for silicon.

Following a steady week, prices for Japanese steel plate closed flat. The price of Korean steel plate did not change since the previous week. US steel plate saw its price rise 0.8 percent over the past week.

US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) coil prices held steady.

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