The story of Q-Cells comes to an End Q-Cells is the biggest solar failure in Europe as the company which was the global leader in 2008 failed to pay its creditors in 2012. Q-Cells which concentrated on producing crystalline silicon solar cells could not cope with Asian competitors who drastically cut prices and costs in [...]
Solar Equipment Companies Saw a massive increase in revenues and profits as Asian companies led by the Chinese built a huge amount of solar cell, wafer and panel capacity. Despite a huge increase in demand in 2011, this capacity glut led to a crash in prices throughout the solar chain resulting in bankruptcies of some [...]
Solar Stocks have made their investors suicidal with drops of of 80-90% from the top common even amongst the biggest solar companies. A number of solar companies like Q-Cells, Solar Millenium, Solon which used to be amongst the 10 biggest ones have gone bankrupt. In fact most of the German solar companies have either gone [...]
Germany till a couple of years was the home of the biggest solar panel manufacturers in the world.This was driven mainly by the German Renewable Energy Law (EEG) which is the most successful renewable energy subsidy in the world.The German Solar Market has become the biggest in the world for the last 2-3 years and an estimated 25 GW of solar panels would have been installed in Germany.Capitalizing on a large domestic market a number of solar companies like Q-Cells,Solarworld,Solon and others became the biggest in the world.However the rise of the Chinese solar panel manufactures has made these companies shrink with some of them like Q-Cells facing questions of survival.The prices of the Chinese solar panels has become lower than the costs of the German made solar modules putting the economic viability of the German solar panels in question.Though the quality of the German made solar panels is higher and some of the best solar panels in the world are produced by the Germans,the price differential has meant that Chinese have captured almost 70% of the global solar panel market leaving little for the German solar panel companies.The Italian Feed in Tariff Law Contio Energia 3 has given somewhat of a boost to the German solar panel makers as it gives higher subsidies for solar projects,farms using European based modules.However German solar panel producers are in a secular decline with most of them shifting their factories to Asia.Q-Cells and Bosch have set up big solar manufacturing facilities in Malaysia while Solarworld is doing so in the US.Another Big European Solar Producer REC is closing its factories in Norway while expanding it in Singapore.
German’s Solar Energy Market is the biggest in the world by a fair margin.Germany installed almost 6 gigawatts of solar panels in 2010 taking the total installed capacity to almost 16 GW which is 40% of the world’s total installed solar capacity.Note Germany’s Photovoltaic Solar Electricity now forms almost 10-15% of the total electricity production in the country at peak time.Note Germany’s solar industry got a renewed boost when 7 old nuclear plants were shutdown following Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Disaster recently.Previously Germany had decided to extend the operating life of its Nuclear Plants despite stiff opposition.Germany Solar Subsidy which is framed under the Renewable Energy EEG law has made Germany one of the world’s leaders in Wind,Solar and Biomass Energy.Germany’s Manufacturing Industry has benefited from the strong domestic market with many of the world’s top solar panel companies located there.Solar equipment,inverters and cell companies are also present in large numbers.Recently Germany amended its Feed in Tariff Law to slowdown the exponential growth in solar panel installations.This is over and above the regular reduction in solar subsidies done each year.
Crystalline Solar Cell Suppliers are fast disappearing due to the changing dynamics of the global c-Si Solar Panel Industry.With vertical integration becoming imperative as margins and prices get squeezed,independent solar cell suppliers are having a tough time.Increasing raw material costs in terms of higher polysilicon and solar wafer prices and competition from numerous players has decreased the number of pure play solar cell suppliers.However a few of the top solar cell producers continue to grow and flourish though they are also entering into other segment of the PV solar supply chain.Most of the independent solar cell suppliers are from Taiwan and some from China.European solar cell producers have mostly disappeared due to the high cost base of the European factories.Note this list is mostly composed of solar cell producers who don’t have big module making operations.You can find a list of the top solar energy companies most of which make solar cells as well.