Note Chinese companies too would have shut down but the state owned Chinese banks are keeping them alive with loans at ridiculous interest rates.LDK which is buying Sunways is almost insolvent as well with its convertibles trading at less than 50c on the dollar in Singapore.It has more than n$3 billion in debt compared to its market cap of around $600 million.It faces massive losses in the coming qtrs and can’t serve the interest payments much less expand.The strong support of the Chinese government for its green companies is keeping them alive.Chinese solar panels have become super cheap due to companies selling at below cost and massive scale.Note all the cheap solar panel brands in the world are Chinese with the exception of First Solar and some Asians.
LDK has managed to spend 22 million Euros despite burning hundred of millions of dollars in cash because it has got the Chinese government trillions backing it.So while Western companies burn and crash,the big crony Chinese companies can expand and acquire.
Most of the German solar manufacturing industry is finished and it is unlikely that except a couple of them like SM Solar or Wacker will live to see 2013.Q-Cells too should go bankrupt or get consolidated .Note despite European companies shifting factories to Asia ,they just can’t compete.Some of the smaller module makers with 20 MW plants have seen huge losses with the equipment not selling for 10 cents on the dollar
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 utilities have protested against the move as recently they were buoyed by the decision of the Merkel led government to extend the life of the nuclear reactors by more than 10 years.However the weight of public opinion has made the German government go into the damage control phase ( though too late in my opinion.German power companies too know that going against popular opposition will be quite fruitless.Note Germany faces problems as the replacement of the 7 shutdown nuclear reactors will be difficult to replace.Solar Power has been playing an important role but in winter this problem may become acute.According to some analysts,Germany will have to import power (nuclear as well) from other European countries.This will lead to increase in electricity prices.However its a great win for all forms of Green Energy as Germany has no alternative but to go with Green Energy as Germany does not have abundant reserves of Cheap Gas (like USA).Also Coal has its disadvantages which make it very difficult in an environmentally conscious country like Germany.
Switzerland has voted to not build any new nuclear reactors and not to extend the life of the existing nuclear plants once their expected life ends.The oldest nuclear reactor will be shut down by 2019 and the newest by 2034 which means that Switzerland will become nuclear free by 2034.Switzerland saw huge protests with 20,000 [...]
The Green Party in Germany has continued its massive upsurge in popularity in Germany winning a huge slice of votes in key German states which have gone to polls recently.Green Party in Germany which is founded on the principles of social justice, reliance on grassroots democracy nonviolence, and an emphasis on environmentalism has remained a fringe player.However the recent backlash against the nuclear power plant extension by Merkel,the planning on high speed rail in Stuttgart and the frustration with the foreign and Euro policies of the ruling CDU has led to huge gains.Note Green Parties are found in most European countries though they remain non-existent in major Anglo-Saxon countries.However the recent Japanese nuclear disaster may give a fresh impetus as global warming effects continue to increase and nuclear energy comes under attack.Mass protests against nuclear power continue to be held in different cities in Germany
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.