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Analyst sees half of solar players out in 2010

Posted: 18 Nov 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar market  solar cell  solar panel 

A contraction in the number of solar manufacturers has started, and it's only the beginning, according to the report Opportunities in The Solar Market For Crystalline and Thin Film Solar Cells, published by The Information Network. The market analyst says that the decline will peak in 2010.

"In our September 3 release we forecast that in 2010 as many as 50 per cent of the more than 200 solar manufacturers, mired in red ink with current selling prices above $2/W (Rs.97.63/W), may not survive," noted Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network. "The freefall has begun."

General Electric plans to close its only solar panel factory in the United States because production costs have exceeded sale prices. The factory can produce 34MW. Evergreen Solar said it would move panel production from its U.S. factory in Massachusetts to China next year in order to cut costs. And earlier this year, BP Solar announced it would close its solar panel factory in Maryland and outsource that work to a contract manufacturer. In October, BP said it had hired Jabil Circuit to assemble panels at a Jabil factory in Poland.

Solar panel manufacturers that have reported losses these past few weeks include Energy Conversion Devices Inc, JA Solar, LDK Solar Co., ReneSola Ltd, Solar Power Inc. and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. Five of these six companies are Chinese. They continue to increase inventory, lose money and affect the entire solar panel industry.

Perhaps it is an attempt to become the worldwide leader in the solar market by eliminating the competition.

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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