That means start kissing German green jobs good bye. Yet another Soviet-style propped up industry begins to bite the dust.
According to co2-handel.de here, rising raw material prices on the purchasing side, falling prices on the sales side, falling market demand, and reduced subsidies are spelling big trouble for the once booming German solar industry.
Solarworld, based in Bonn, did better than most other German solar companies. For the first 6 months of 2011 it recorded a profit of €22.4 million, but that was down significantly from €34.8 million for the same period last year. Half-year sales plummeted 12% to €535 million.
Hemorrhaging red ink – production moving to Asia
Konstanz-based Sunways AG’s 2nd quarter sales collapsed from €64.6 million to €38.7 million during the first half of this year, posting a loss of €2.5 million euros.
Things were even worse for Conergy. According to CO2-handel.de, the Hamburg-based company lost €41 million in the first 6 months of this year compared to a profit of €5 million for the same period last year.
Bavaria-based Phoenix Solar extended its losing streak, posting a loss of €21.1 million compared to a loss of €18.7 million for the same period last year. Sales plummeted 61% to €140.8 million.
Q-Cells in Bitterfeld-Wolfen plans to shut down a large portion of its solar cell production at facilities in Bitterfeld-Wolfen and shift it to Malaysia in a bid to stem the hemorrhaging red ink. CO2 handel.de writes about Q-Cells:
Production capacity in Germany is to be scaled back by 50%.”
Asian manufacturers are now flooding markets with cheap modules. Solarworld director Frank Asbeck expects 8 gigawatts of over-capacity from Asia.
The flood of red ink is occuring despite government subsidies, which however have been scaled back this year. Face it without the still generous subsidies, the figures would be much worse. And despite the low-priced cells coming from Asia, it’s still a lousy way to produce energy – especially in gray and rainy Germany.