Just call it the Great Solar Energy Bubble! It has popped for good, and what’s left behind is a whopping 21 billion euros in destroyed capital, Germany’s flagship daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) writes today.
One of the arguments used to convince people of the virtues of solar energy was that “the sun doesn’t send a bill … energy from the sun is free!” Even Dave Suzuki once claimed that.
The notion that “solar energy is free” has turned out to be an expensive myth. Quite to the contrary, the bills for solar energy are now coming in, and they’re huge.
Hat-tip Benny Peiser.
Not Long ago investors were exuberantly bullish when it came to investments in solar energy in Germany, so were large companies. Today, however, many have since lost their shirts. And the FAZ now writes large corporations who placed their bets on solar power and solar heat are “pulling out disillusioned“. “The strategy ended in a debacle.”
As an example, the FAZ cites Siemens, who announced on Monday that its solar unit would be liquidated and shut down completely by next spring after the company’s solar strategy “ended in a debacle” after having “poured about a billion euros into the business“.
Looks as if the solar industry in Germany is “dead”
The FAZ writes that Siemens now follows a long list of failed solar companies in Germany (once ballyhooed as a model for the rest of the world), joining Bosch, who announced too that it would withdraw from the solar business, thus putting the jobs of 3000 employees at stake in economically depressed East Germany. Supervisory board chairman Franz Fehrenbach now says it looks as if the solar industry in Germany is “dead”.
Solar manufacturers blame the plummeting prices for panels and modules, as well as competition from China. FAZ reports that “a total of 1.56 billion euros had been completely written off by the company by the end of 2012. On top of that come operating losses totaling 750 million euros”.
The FAZ then tallies the total capital destruction by the German solar industry as a whole, pegging that number at 21 billion euros! The FAZ writes:
Investment stars Solarworld and Q-Cells have destroyed capital to the tune of double-digit billions of euros. In December 2007 the East German Solar Valley cell and module manufacturer Q-Cells was considered to be an aspiring candidiate for the first league stock market. Nothing came of that. Instead the company declared itself insolvent in 2012 and was bought up by a Korean company. Private investors practically lost everything.”
So much for the claim that “solar energy is free”. Once again, the central planners demonstrate again how effective and talented they are when it comes to destroying wealth and capital.