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Germany to Bail Out Siemens Wind Division // Florida: Population & Fuel Consumption Rise

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Welcome to Grid Brief! Today, we’re taking a break from our weekly coverage of what’s happening in America’s monopoly utility areas, as the Energy Information Administration’s national generation data hasn’t updated in a week due to maintenance. Instead, we’re looking at Germany’s bailout of the Siemens wind turbine division, how Florida’s population influx is increasing its fuel consumption, and more.

Germany to Bail Out Siemens Wind Division

Since mid-June, Siemens shares have cratered by 70%, causing it to ditch its profit outlook for this year. Although Siemens also has a highly successful and profitable gas turbine arm, its wind turbine division has tanked the whole boat. The company is in talks for 15 billion euros in guarantees, with the German government covering 80% of the initial funding.

While some close to the deal have told Reuters that the German government agrees with the deal in principle, its details still need to be ironed out. But news of the deal lifted the stock price by 5% last week.

Offshore wind is suffering worldwide. As we covered earlier this month, Ørsted has abandoned its New Jersey wind projects, citing massive delays in shipping vessel availability as a major contributor to the failures. But the company is also considering abandoning its offshore projects in the UK, while the UK government is offering yet higher subsidies to offshore wind projects to make them viable.

Offshore wind isn’t alone. Last week, the Utah Associated Municipal Power System and NuScale mutually agreed to terminate the first small modular reactor project in America.

Florida: Population & Fuel Consumption Rise

Florida is among the fastest-growing states in America. Between 2010 and 2022, its population has boomed by 18% to about 22.2 million residents. Its population growth is also driving more consumption of fuel.

“Most of Florida’s fuels arrive by water vessels from refiners on the U.S. Gulf Coast,” reports the Energy Information Administration. “The state has no direct access to the two major pipelines that serve other East Coast states, Colonial and Products (SE), although some portions of the state receive shipments by truck from Colonial Pipeline spurs that end in southern Georgia. The rest of the state’s fuels are imports, most of which come from Europe.”

This year, just over a fifth of gasoline, distillate fuel oil, and jet fuel moving from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast moved by tanker or barge. Florida was the recipient of almost all of those tank and barge shipments.

If Florida’s population influx is driving up fuel consumption, it is likely increasing electricity consumption, too.

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