Solar Wafers

September 6, 2013

SunEdison to sell its Original Core Semi Business – What a Turnaround

SunEdison to sell its Semiconductor Division SunEdison Inc. (SUNE) the US based solar and semiconductor company is going to spin off its semiconductor division to focus solely […]
July 8, 2013

Thin Wafer startup Crystal Solar expects to cut Module price by 50%

Solar Wafers are traditionally manufactured by growing polysilicon crystals in specialized furnaces. These crystals are then sawed to make thin slices of purified polysilicon which is […]
June 17, 2013

LDK is imploding into irrelevance as Revenue contracts to only $100 million

LDK faces working capital crisis LDK Solar (LDK) which used to be the world’s biggest supplier of solar wafers and was building the biggest polysilicon plant is now contracting […]
June 6, 2013

Neo Solar and Del Solar Merger for Good – Consolidation the only way to survive

Neo Solar and Del Solar Merger Consolidation in the global solar industry continues at an accelerated pace with companies exiting the solar business, bankruptcies being announced, takeovers […]
June 5, 2013

MEMC to SunEdison why the Change?

MEMC to SunEdison MEMC – the world’s leader in silicon wafer manufacturing has now changed the company name to SunEdison. The shareholders approved of this change at the company’s […]
May 20, 2013

Solar Wafer Makers remain under pressure despite strong Volume Growth in 2013

Leading solar wafer companies like Renesola (SOL), GCL Poly Energy, SAS and others remain under pressure due to the below cost prices of solar wafers. The […]
January 21, 2013

World's Cheapest & Biggest upstream Solar Producer, GCL Poly forecasts big loss in 2013

GCL Poly China based GCL Poly is the biggest solar wafer producer in the world. GCL Poly raised its wafer capacity almost 85% in 2011. The company’s […]
January 17, 2013

Big Polysilicon Producers fire workers as Demand plummet

Polycrystalline silicon or  Polysilicon (poly-Si or “poly”) is a material consisting of multiple small silicon crystals. Poly is highly pure form of silicon and is much […]
November 28, 2012

Panasonic Sanyo to halt solar panel expansion as $10 billion Loss sinks stock to 1975 Low

Panasonic halts Solar Panel Expansion Panasonic the iconic Japanese conglomerate which manufactures a mind boggling variety of products is facing the same fate as that of […]
October 19, 2012

Foxconn made Solar Panels spell more trouble for Chinese Solar Manufacturers on Life Support

Foxconn & GCL together in China The world’s biggest solar wafer producer GCL has tied up with electronic OEM giant Foxconn to build the largest solar […]
August 30, 2012

European Solar Carnage continues as Solar Panel Companies fall like nine pins against the Chinese Onslaught

European Solar Companies Solar Companies in Europe have been falling like nine pins for almost a year now and the carnage shows no sign of stopping. […]
July 11, 2012

Sunshine State Florida Does No Justice to its Name, installing measly number of PV Solar Panels

While US Solar Installers are expanding rapidly as solar power grows at a rapid pace across the country, the Sunshine state Florida refuses to adopt legislation […]
February 24, 2012

Solarworld Loses Marketshare Massively to Chinese Solar Panel Producers in 2011

Solarworld which is the biggest solar panel company from Germany lost marketshare to the Chinese companiees in 2011 . The company which has been at the forefront of leading anti-dumping charges against import of Chinese made solar modules into the USA, lost substantial amounts of money. Solarworld had earlier closed its panel making facility in California. The company sold lesser number of solar panels in 2011 compared to 2010 despite the global solar market increasing by 30-40% . With only around 800 MW of shipments , Solarworld has only 3-4% of the global marketshare compared to 10% for bigger Chinese rivals.
February 23, 2012

China's Smaller Polysilicon Companies go Bankrupt as Price Goes Below Cost

China which is the world's largest provider of solar panels made from crystalline silicon is seeing a large number of smaller polysilicon companies go bankrupt or stop production. The reason is that for many of the smaller companies the price of polysilicon is $25-30/kg while the costs are $40-50/kg .This means that the smaller companies are making massive losses with the production of each kg of polysilicon. Note Polysilicon is a commodity industry like the memory industry and goes through periodic ups and downs when prices can go much below costs. In recent years a large number of companies set up polysilicon plants to benefit from the massive growth in the solar panel demand in Europe. However a massive glut in 2011 led the prices to fall across the supply chain of silicon solar panels. Poly prices fell from a high of $100/kg to $25/kg a drop of almost 75% in one year. This has made many of the smaller poly plants in China stop production as the price is below variable costs. The bigger producers like GCL , Renesola and Daqo have lower costs at around $25-30/kg which means they are breaking even . However for smaller companies the situation is dire as massive capacity expansion by the top polysilicon producers will continue in 2012 keeping prices at around the same level.
February 14, 2012

Larget US Solar Installer Suncity gets Sued by Sunpower for Corporate Espionage

Solarcity which is the largest US Solar Installer has got sued by Sunpower for stealing trade secrets. Note Sunpower which was recently bought by French Oil Giant Total is facing tough times. Sunpower which makes the most efficient solar panels in the world is facing tough competition from super cheap Chinese solar panels. In fact according to Total CEO the company would have been already bankrupt with Total support. Beside making solar panels, Sunpower is also one of the biggest solar integrators and developers. The company has been in the business of installing solar panels after it acquired solar system installer Powerlight.
February 14, 2012

4 Ways Chinese Solar Panel Companies are already Short Circuiting Future US Import Duties

The US Import Sanctions on Chinese Solar Panel imports will become a non-event soon as Chinese solar panel producers are easily short circuting the sanctions. They are using a number of strategies to protect themselves from the upcoming duties and anti-dumping measures. This shows that globalization makes the use of specific duties on a nation quite useless and only benefits the lawyers . The reason is that private companies are much more faster and nimble compared to the slow moving bureaucrats .
February 8, 2012

Panasonic follows Solarworld in shutting down a Solar Factory in California

California which has the largest number of solar installations in the USA and is the capital of solar energy in North America is seeing a rapid exit of solar panel manufacturers. First it was Solarworld which closed a solar module manufacturing facility. Now Sanyo Solar Panels will stopped being made in the state as well as Panasonic consolidates manufacturing in Asia. Note cheap Chinese solar panels have made western manufacturers exit the solar industry and their have been a number of media grabbing bankruptcies as well. Western solar companies as well as Japanese solar panel makers have been shutting down in droves now .
February 5, 2012

Sumco – Latest Japanese Company retreating from Oversupplied Solar Industry (Exits PV Wafers Completely)

Japanese Companies which were the leading solar companies in 2006 have steadily lost the top global rankings to Chinese companies. Now many of the top Japanese Solar Energy Companies are retreating from markets and manufacturing. Sharp which was the largest solar company in 2009 and 2010 has radically restructured its strategy but is still losing marketshare. Panasonic the second biggest solar company has closed down its Japanese factory. Other Japanese solar companies like Mitsubishi, Kyocera are also being forced to rethink solar panel manufacturing. Note most of the higher cost producers in the solar industry are effectively bankrupt and are only being supported by government or big parents. Many Western companies have already closed or are on the verge of closing. Some of the bankrupt companies are not finding buyers of their equipment even at 10c/dollar. Massive overcapacity remains in the solar industry particularly in China which is not being taken out fast enough which will probably lead to another bad year for solar stocks in 2012.
January 27, 2012

More Western Solar Companies Q-Cells, Miasole ,Nanosolar Teeter on Bankruptcy

The Chinese Dominance of the Solar Industry in the last 2 years have seen numerous Western companies go bust . This has accelerated sharply in 2011 with companies like Evergreen Solar,Spectrawatt, Solar Millenium, Solon, Photowatt etc. either gone for good or in various stages of bankruptcy. Other US Solar Panel Manufacturers like First Solar, Sunpower have fired thousands and some are continuing with large losses. European Solar Companies are the worst off given their high cost structure and lack of differentiation. Solland Solar recently killed its solar module line while some like Schott have killed their solar wafer lines.
January 19, 2012

Solar Jobs Cut by Dutch Company Solland as European Solar Panel Industry Dies

Solar Jobs have been cut in the tens of thousands this year by a number of European Solar Companies including marquee names such as REC, Q-Cells, Solarworld ,SMA Solar besides many of the smaller names. Some of the solar companies like Solon have completely shut down. 5000 solar companies have downed shutters in 2011 according to German association BSW. This is despite global solar demand in 2011 increasing by around 30-40% compared to 2010. The reason is that massive overcapacity has been created in China and other parts of Asia. Backed by cheap loans and massive subsidies, around 50 GW of solar panel capacity has been created . This has led to a crashing of solar panel prices by 60% which has decimated the higher cost companies in Europe.
January 19, 2012

Germany to Axe Solar Panel Installations by More than Half in 2012

There is urgent need to reduce the solar capacity addition in Germany because a) It is requiring almost half of the $21 billion renewable energy subsidies in 2011 while generating 3% of the total power b) Too much solar power while put pressure on the power grid as at the peak afternoon hours solar can generate almost 10% of Germany's power requirement which means shutting down other sources c) German Solar Panel producers have stopped benefiting from German domestic growth. Most solar companies in Germany have been decimated by Chinese competition and around 20000 solar jobs and 5000 companies have shut down.
January 14, 2012

How Chinese Module Makers will use the Taiwanese Cell Producers to Circumvent US Anti-Dumping Policy

The USA and China are locked in a bitter tiff over solar panel imports from China. Note Solarworld filed a petition with the ITC which in all probability will put an anti-dumping duty on Chinese solar modules. Other countries whose solar panel producers have been swamped by the super cheap Solar Panel imports too are thinking of special custom duties. However the big Tier 1 Chinese solar panel makers are not sitting idle . They have already come out with strategies to circumvent the US Solar Panel Duties if they are imposed .
January 12, 2012

Another European Solar Wafer Manufacturing Location (Jena) closes under Chinese Price War – 290 Germans loses Green Jobs

The number of solar factories closing in Europe has increased tremendously in the 2nd half of 2012 despite a record surge in Germany which would have raised 2011 solar growth to 25%. However the relentless price pressure from Chinese solar panel companies has decimated the solar companies in the West. While there have been a number of famous cases of bankruptcy like Solyndra and Solon, there have been bigger solar factory closedowns. REC has closed down more than 1 GW of wafer capacity while a pure play Spanish solar wafer factory also closed down recently . British solar wafer maker PV Crystalox is also near the verge of failure. Solar Wafer prices have fallen by almost 60% in the last 1 year with the prices much below the cost of production in Europe. It seems unlikely that any solar wafer maker will remain alive in Europe by 2013.
January 9, 2012

Why Germany could join USA, India in Anti Dumping Duty on Chinese Solar Panels Imports

Solar Trade Wars are becoming the norm in the globe these days with the major one between USA and China.The instigator is the German solar company Solarworld which helped started the ITC Case in the USA.India too is thinking of putting some kind of import duty to protect its domestic solar panel producers which are dropping like flies.Chinese solar panel producers have swamped the world with super cheap solar modules.Though a part of their low prices can be explained by competitive advantage, another part is due to the labor,capital subsidy given by the Chinese government.It would not take a rocket scientist to say that some of the biggest Chinese solar companies are insolvent and would be dead within a month without Chinese state loans.
January 9, 2012

France tries it hand at saving a Bankrupt Solar Company Photowatt like China and Germany

Saving bankrupt solar companies has become the national pasttime of most governments it seems.Competition in the solar market has become so severe that solar comapnies are failing left and right.This has made the government come out to save them with bailouts which only make the oversupply situation in the solar panel industry worse.While China is the worst culprit supporting hundreds of failing solar companies through cheap loans which will be never paid back,other governments are not far behind.
January 9, 2012

Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Prices to get support from New Jersey Legislators

Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Prices in New Jersey have been falling at a sharp rate from a high of $600 to $225 as high returns from falling solar panel prices and other tax breaks.This has led to a massive growth in solar installations in the state making it the 2nd largest state by solar capacity.New Jersey installations have crossed 500 MW and made it a huge green job driver in the state.However this boom has made the market driven SREC prices fall quite sharply.Though not falling as sharply as Pennsylvania where SREC prices have become a joke ,they are still low and falling.
January 7, 2012

Solar Energy in Germany Explodes in December, may reach monstrous ~3 GW, another record breaking 2011

The German Solar Energy Market is biggest in the world and has installed the largest number of solar panels for the last few years.2012 promises to be no different with Germany again set to the biggest solar market for solar panel manufacturers though Italy would give good competition.The German Solar Subsidy program has been the best in the world unlike the start and stop feed in tariff programs of Spain,Czech,UK,Australia and other places.A stable step in cut of feed in tariffs has helped solar energy prices coming down by more than 50% in the last few years though demand has only increased.
January 6, 2012

US Solar Projects available at Fire Sale Prices by Insolvent Solar Millennium, Solar Trust Bankruptcy

US Solar Projects including the 1000 MW Blythe Solar Project is now available for solar developers,installers at fire sale prices.The Insolvency Administrator is looking to sell parts and the whole of the solar project business of Solar Millennium and its US subsidiary Solar Trust of America.Note before filing of bankruptcy,the solar project developer had around 2000 MW of solar projects in the pipeline.
January 4, 2012

How South Korean Solar Panel Producers are taking the fight to the Chinese with Pricing, Brand and Distribution Power

South Korean Conglomerates LG,Samsung,Hyundai and Hanwha have made massive investments in solar energy production in the last couple of years.Encoraged by the Korean government to become a force in the Green Energy area in the future,Korean giant chaebols have invested in almost all areas of cleantech like Electric Vehicles,Wind Energy,Solar Energy,Energy Storage etc.While Western companies fall like flies in the face of the Chinese onslaught of super low pricing,Koreans are holding their own and want to take fight into the Chinese camp.
January 4, 2012

Polysilicon Companies with Small Capacities go Bust/Stop Production of Solar Raw Material (Timminco,Hoku,MEMC,PV Crystalox)

Smaller Polysilicon producers with small sizes and higher costs are going bust almost everyday.With poly prices falling below $30/kg even bigger producers with inefficient plants like MEMC have been forced to curtain capacity.The smaller poly producers with 2000-3000 tons capacity have virtually no future.With poly expansion still taking place by big producers even in an oversupplied market the small fish are having the capitulate.