BERLIN, Oct 15, 2009 (AFP) - German conglomerate Siemens announced a major acquisition Thursday with the purchase of Solel Solar Systems, a maker of panels used in power plants harnessing the Sun's rays to generate electricity.
The German industrial giant said it was buying Israel-based Solel for 418 million dollars from current majority owners, British-based investment firm Ecofin and another unnamed shareholder.
Solel is one of the world's top two suppliers of solar receivers and also plans and constructs vast "solar fields," posting sales of close to 90 million dollars in the first half of 2009, Siemens said.
"After the rapid and highly successful expansion of our wind power business, we now want to continue this success story in the solar sector," the German firm said in a statement.
Interest in renewable emergies has soared in recent years as countries diversify away from fossil fuels in an attempt to reduce the harmful carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.