Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The sad truth about solar energy: "The days of cell production in Western countries are numbered"

The lights of the German solar industry are soon going out. The same will happen in all other Western countries:

The German solar industry is at a turning point. The bankruptcy of Q-Cells this week shows that the days of German solar cell production are numbered. Asian competitors took the lead years ago, and German government subsidies were part of the problem. 

The worst hit in the German solar crisis are companies that made bad business decisions. Most of the companies effected failed to wean themselves from reliance on government subsidies. The companies had all been aware that the market was rapidly changing, but they reacted too late or too slowly. Solar subsidies had been a highly effective political means of promoting the environmentally friendly technology, but in a rapidly maturing market, they are quickly losing their impact.
And the problem isn't the recent cuts to solar subsidies. The problem has been mismanagement across the industry in Germany.


most of the lights are likely to go out soon in Germany's Solar Valley. Experts like Michael Schmela, editor in chief of the industry publication Photon International, see no future for the companies based in Bitterfeld-Wolfen. "The days of cell production in Western countries are numbered," he said recently.

Read the entire Der Spiegel article here

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