Chinese Grid Company SGCC Joins Desertec Industrial Initiative

Reports Daniel Wetzel in this Welt article (in German). Thanks to this tweet by Stefan Krauter for the link.

This is very welcome news. Obviously any Desertec project in the Mongolian Gobi desert will profit from the World’s largest utility getting involved.

I have blogged about this before, so I am going just to reprint my last comment about this from June:

Daniel Wetzel has published a rather strange article at Die Welt (in German) discussing changes in the membership of the “Desertec industrial initiative”.

The weird thing is, the article asserts that the initiative is losing a lot of members in its headline, but it reports that there were 12 companies founding the initiative in 2009, and there are 20 members right now. I am not sure how the math is supposed to work out on that. In my view, 20 is more than 12.

And he plays down the rather significant fact that the Chinese company SGCC is applying for membership. I have blogged about this last November, when the news of SGCC applying for membership broke. But let’s just state some facts about them again.

Anybody checking the Wikipedia article on SGCC will find out that:

  •  SGCC is the largest electric utility in the World.
  • They have over 1.5 million employees.
  • They had over $265 billion in revenue in 2011.
  • They had over $5.6 billion in net income in 2011.

Just for reference, let’s compare that to the Siemens losers who have left the Desertec industrial initiative. According to their own homepage, they have:

  • 86,000 employees (around 5.7% of SGCC) in 2012.
  • Revenue only a measly EUR 27.5 billion (around 10% of SGCC) in 2012.
  • Net income 2.2 billion in 2012 (Siemens as a whole lost over EUR6.7 billion. Makes sense that they wouldn’t be able to afford the Desertec industrial initiative membership fee).

The article explains that the membership will decide next week if they accept SGCC as a new member. I think it would be highly advisable to do so.

Published by kflenz

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

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