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

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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. Though all solar panel companies are ailing, not all companies had thrown in the towel. The biggest failure till now was the bankruptcy of the erstwhile global no. 1 producer of solar cells Q-Cells. Other companies like Solon, Sulfurcell soon followed suit as creditors came calling on the debts which had no chance of being repaid. Still other European solar companies like REC, Solarworld, Silken and others have continued though they have had to severely curtail their operations.

Now REC Wafer which is a subsidiary of the REC solar group has gone bankrupt. REC Wafer used to be the biggest supplier of solar wafers to the industry and was considered almost invincible. During the boom years of 2008, REC Wafer used to earn gross margins of greater than 50% and used to get massive prepayments and equity stakes from its customers for long term contracts. However with prices of solar wafers having fallen by almost 80% in the last couple of years, REC Wafer has seen its viability being brutally eroded by giant low cost competitors in Asia like GCL Poly. REC Wafer had been shutting capacity in its European locations in the last year but even that had no effect. Now the REC Group has decided to totally abandon the losing cause and allowed it to go bankrupt.

Another Spanish company Silken which was one of the pioneers in the solar panel market had decided to fire all its workers in Spain. The company which had fired 40 workers earlier, had decided to shut the facility by firing the other 100 workers.

Solarworld is the only significant European solar company of any consequence to remain alive and that too is doubtful as it predicted to suffer a massive loss in 2012 . Solarworld is already close to becoming a penny stock as investors have doubt about its prospects of being a going concern for long.

Read About List of Solar Companies By Country.


Some Taiwan-based firms have included write-offs due to long-term supply contracts in the second quarter. Customers that refused to pay contract termination fees or oblige to contracts have been engaging in court processes. Despite the fact that REC Wafer has declared bankruptcy, the lawsuits will continue, said the sources.Norway-based solar wafer firm REC Wafer has filed for bankruptcy after its parent company REC ASA announced the termination of further funding last week.

PV Tech

The demonstration is the first of several planned protests. As part of the protest, workers began a march at 10.30a.m., starting from San Agustín Square.Workers from Siliken’s centre in Rafelbunyol, Valencia, Spain, are today protesting after the solar company presented an ERE (Expediente de Regulación de Empleo) — a Spanish administrative redundancy procedure which employers must comply with — to 100 employees.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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