All the green jobs of the future that were promised – have now turned into dashed dreams. On the scrap heap along with the promises of communism, redistribution, third ways, etc.
FOCUS magazine here brings us up-to-speed on the trials and misery of Germany’s much maligned solar industry. The situation is worse than we thought.
It’s in a rapid death spiral, and it has claimed its latest victim: Solarhybrid AG. Last Tuesday evening, just a few dozen months after the company went public in 2008 amid the usual hoopla, it announced that it is bankrupt and is now seeking protection from its creditors. The sunny days are gone.
Solarhybrid’s collapse follows on the heels of Solon and Solar Millennium, who also recently went bust. The great German solar energy bubble has popped. With the current feed-in rates ending on April 1st, set to drop another 20%, the real monster crash still remains to come.
Solarhybrid was a specialist for large solar power plants, and was even optimistic about the future just as recently as October 2011. I bet the investors who jumped on board in October are really amused.
The German solar industry suffers from severe global over-capacity and falling government subsides, without which they can’t compete. Yet it should not be a surprise that it has come to this. Half of the world’s solar power generation capacity is installed in Germany, a country that gets as much sunshine as Alaska. It was only a matter of time before the reality of economics caught up. So far Germany has committed over €100 billion in solar subsidies over the next 20 years – for a power source that will hardly make a dent.
Other German solar companies such as giants Conergy und Q-Cells are beginning their death throes. Even once bullish Solarworld director Frank Asbeck, the die-hard optimist of the industry, is warning of really tough times ahead (emphasis added):
If the subsidy reductions continue, the entire branch will be forced to sell its products below cost. We can’t take this very long,’ he said Tuesday regarding the solar subsidy reductions. In the entire branch there is not a single company that is in the black. The same is true for Chinese manufacturers.”
If that doesn’t sound awful enough, then read what Klaus-Dieter Maubach, Technology Chairman at power giant Eon, is quoted as saying to Bloomberg (emphasis added):
In view of the competition from China, Germany’s solar industry will disappear completely within 5 years. Not a single employee will be working for a German solar company, because by then they will all have gone bankrupt.”