Solar Factories and Jobs have been constantly moving towards low cost locations to Asia despite US efforts to subsidize green energy industry.Most of these efforts have been misdirected as administration favorite Solyndra faces questions about survival despite a billion dollars in public and private funding.Massive DOE loans to Abound Solar and Spanish Developer also face questions about their eventual success in creating sustainable green jobs in the USA.Europe has been facing its own problems with European solar factories too closing down as manufacturing is outsourced to Malaysia,China and Philippines.Evergreen Solar is the latest US company to join the Chinese bandwagon as it closes it main manufacturing and R&D facility in Devens,Massachusetts as it ramps up its capacity in a JV in China where it is receiving tons of state support in terms of subsidies,loans and land.
About 800 jobs in the Solar Industry will be lost directly to China as the USA administration has failed to support its established solar companies.Massachusetts had supported Evergreen with $58 million in subsidies but it was not enough for Evergreen to compete against the ongoing subsidies received by the strong Chinese players who have captured almost 70% of the global market in a few short years.The other US solar companies like Sunpower and First Solar are surviving by manufacturing most of their solar panels in Malaysia and other places.The recent “Buy American” Pentagon Law may not help all that much as module making is a low value add activity already being done by European and Chinese players in the USA.In the complicated supply chain of global manufacturing its difficult to understand who ultimately benefits and loses from such provisions.Note most of the polysilicon going inside the wafers and cells made in Asia are imported from USA and Europe.
Evergreen Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: ESLRD) plans to shut down its Devens, Mass., manufacturing facility by the end of the first quarter, affecting 800 jobs, the company announced Tuesday.The Marlborough, Mass.-based solar technologies company said the closure will come as it ramps up its production in China. The company produces solar wafers at a company-owned plant in Wuhan, China, and had previously said it would outsource solar panel assembly from the Devens facility to China by the end of this year.
Evergreen had planned the moves amid stiff competition from Chinese solar manufacturers, which Evergreen cited in announcing the closure.