Bookmark and Share

Can Europe’s only Vertically Integrated Solar Company REC Survive the Industry’s worst Trough

0 Comment

Renewable Energy Corporation used to be the world’s largest supplier of polysilicon, to solar panel companies just 3-4 years ago. The company, which earned eye popping revenues and profits when polysilicon prices ruled at $400/kg, is now facing survival questions like many of its western peers. Q-Cells which used to be the largest solar cell supplier is bankrupt, while Centrotherm another leader in solar equipment segment has also shutdown. REC along-with Solarworld are the only 2 remaining major solar panel manufacturers left in Europe. Solarworld does not have a good competitive position and does not look like a survivor.


However REC unlike Solarworld, possesses solid competitive advantage in both processes and technology. The company is vertically integrated as it expanded from polysilicon into making of downstream C-si cells and modules. It also has shut down expensive factories in Norway and Sweden concentrating production in a new factory in Singapore. The company has been aggressively reducing costs and by end 2012 would be able to compete with the the super low cost Chinese solar panel companies. The company is also claiming a cash cost of only 11.5/kg for polysilicon which would make it the lowest cost polysilicon producer in the world.

Though REC has been facing capital problems, there is reason to believer that the company can survive and eventually thrive as it has cut out most of the flab and is becoming a leaner and meaner player. REC has made some very hard decisions like getting out of wafer production for 3rd parties as it can never hope to match wafer companies like GCL and Renesola in costs. It has started to concentrate on its core strengths of silane and polysilicon production. It is has not abandoned solar panel manufacturing as of now, but if pressures persist it might be a good idea to cut that out as well. While recommending solar stocks is one tough game, REC is the only European solar stock that one can recommend.


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

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!