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.
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.
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.
Green Jobs in India is going to grow at a high double digit rate driven by the Real Estate and Construction Industry. The hiring will be done by Real Estate Companies in India looking for Energy Efficiency and Green Building professionals. Note the Green Industry globally has had a torrid 2011 with most of the major sectors like wind, solar, biofuels and lighting facing oversupply amidst slowing demand due to global macro problems. However the Green Industry has a great fturue driven by secular drivers like
USA recently signed a Military Law which obliges the US Defense Forces to buy Solar Panels which are made in the USA.This “Buy American” proposal directly contradicts US actions and policy which advocates free trade in Green Energy.The US Steelworkers Trade Union recently filed a petition with the US Administration against subsidies being given to the Green Industry by China.US government officials also spoke against the “domestic content” requirements of the Indian Solar Subsidy Policy JNNSM.However when it comes to their own solar panel procurement,the US government has foolishly forced its military forces to buy USA made panels.Not that this will help in boosting the US industry too much,as a number of foreign solar panel producers like Solarworld,Suntech already have module making factories in the United States.Also it remains doubtful about how many solar panels the US Military will buy in the coming years.It will remain a fraction of the global solar demand.Instead of supporting US Solar companies like Evergreen Solar,Energy Conversion Devices which are fighting to survive,the administration has given billion dollar loans to a Spanish Solar Thermal Producer.