The company employs 1200 workers and is one of Germany’s “Solar Valley” enterprises along with Q-Cells that had been expected to lead Germany into a new age of high-tech for the future. Germany’s Solar Valley is located at the junction of the states of Saxony, Saxony Anhalt and Thuringia in East Germany, and received massive investment and support from state and federal governments.
Now its workers are waking up to empty promises, dashed dreams and bitter reality. Solar Valley joins the scrap heap of failed East German economic and social experiments, the last being the German Democratic Republic which collapsed in 1989.
Q-Cells reported it was insolvent in early April. Also US manufacturer First Solar delivered a massive blow to the region, announcing it would close its plant in Frankfurt (Oder).
The collapsing solar branch in Germany was one of the main reasons Angela Merkel sacked Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen two days ago. The German solar industry is also dogged by low price competition from China and reduced subsidies for solar system operators, which earlier had spiraled out of control and led to spiraling electricity prices that have put many in a state of energy poverty.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports:
In 2005 Sovello was founded as a mutual company by Q-Cells and US manufacturer Evergreen Solar. Three production lines were built in succession. Two years ago the company was taken over by a private equity investor and the corporation was changed over to a limited liability company.
The pleas for help for the branch have become louder. After the German states voted to stop the cuts in the feed-in tariffs for the time being, direct intervention by the state is now being demanded. Former IWH director Ulrich Blum supports the state intervening on behalf of the battered solar branch in the East…”
Readers I’m sure are getting the picture by now. The state never learns, does it? They want to keep experimenting.
The media, on the other hand, have considerably toned down their enthusiasm for solar energy and the green economy.
Germany’s green revolution has turned into an embarrassing bloodbath.
PS: I personally took advantage of the generous subsidies and had a 12-kW system installed on our home 2 months ago. Yet, the power company still hasn’t come around to do the final hook-up and so I’m sitting here with a €20K system that’s doing nothing. Truly the whole solar thing here in Germany is a huge mess. Not a single government official even took a minute to think about it before diving in.