GE laying off hundreds from onshore wind unit, report says

General Electric plans to lay off hundreds of workers from its onshore wind unit, including 20% of employees based in the United States, as part of a strategy overhaul, according to a report from Reuters.

Citing sources, Reuters said that GE’s move will impact workers across North America, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. Additional layoffs of onshore wind unity workers in Europe and the Asia Pacific could come at a later date.

GE confirmed the restructuring to the news outlet.

“These are difficult decisions, which do not reflect on our employees’ dedication and hard work but are needed to ensure the business can compete and improve profitability over time,” a GE Renewables spokesperson told Reuters.

Rising costs, supply chain constraints, and policy uncertainty in the U.S. market has plagued wind manufacturers over the past two years.

The risk of clean energy tax credits phasing down last year tamped down development activity, though those credits were restored and extended for 10 years in the Inflation Reduction Act.

GO DEEPER: Jose Zayas, EVP of Policy and Programs, American Council on Renewable Energy joined the Factor This! podcast to break down the key components of the historic Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $369 billion dedicated to clean energy and climate change.

GE renewable energy teams have seen their share of change in recent months.

On July 18, GE announced the brand names of the future companies it will create through its planned separation into three public companies focused on healthcare, energy, and aviation.  

In early 2024, GE plans to spin-off GE Vernova, the company’s portfolio of energy businesses, which it says provides one-third of the world’s electricity along with partners. 

And on Oct. 5, Jerome Pecresse, GE Renewable Energy’s president and CEO, announced that he had stepped down from the role after eight years.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly but, having spent a long tenure building and leading the GE Renewable Energy business, I thought this was the right timing for a new adventure outside of GE,” Pecresse said on LinkedIn.

Pecresse shared optimism for the energy transition but also acknowledged the headwinds facing the clean energy industry.

He said the industry has to drive “maturity and excellence” in supply chains.

GE’s restructuring of its onshore wind unit followed layoffs announced by one of its main competitors.

Reuters reported on Sept. 29 that wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa planned to cut 2,900 jobs in a push for profitability. Most of the workforce reduction would occur in Europe, the report said.

In early September, a federal judge ruled that GE may not sell its Haliade-X offshore wind turbine in the U.S. The ruling came months after a jury sided with Siemens Gamesa in a patent infringement lawsuit between the two manufacturing giants.

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Author: John Engel

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