Siemens Receiving “Zayed Prize” for their Lack of Long-Term Vision

Siemens has just received the “Zayed Future Energy Prize”, see their press release here.

From that press release I understand that this prize is in part for “long-term vision”. The only thing remarkable about Siemens in that regard seems to be their lack of that.

They managed to get out of the solar business, where they were a world leader in 2000, just before Germany created the mass market in the decade following that failed decision, as noted by Hans-Josef Fell.

And recently they have retreated from the most important long-term renewable infrastructure project in history, right as it is taking off ahead of schedule, and right before Saudi Arabia announced their $109 billion solar plans.

Where is the long-term vision in deserting Desertec? What am I missing here?

On the other hand, Siemens still has some impressive achievements. As their press release remarks, Siemens actually generated 33.2 billion Euro from their environmental business in 2012, growing 10 percent with the world market down 11 percent. And they get 42% of all sales from that.

I also recall blogging about their world record new 6 MW wind turbine technology.

So they do contribute a lot to renewable energy. But giving them this prize for “long-term vision” right after they drop out of Desertec is a very strange decision.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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