Bookmark and Share

A Tale of 2 Solar Cell Producers – One expanding capacity while the other shutting down

0 Comment

The solar industry is seeing a huge shakeout as many large well-known names in the solar cell/panel production business go out of business. The solar industry still has many companies despite the last downturn, when the whole industry made large losses. Even now most companies are running on thin margins as the business remains very competitive. Only those with low debt and low costs are making decent enough profits. Others are in a huge soup as they are being forced to sell at low prices making losses even at the gross margin level. Smaller producers in China and Taiwan are the worst hit due to this shakeout.

Mosel Viteltic which is a Tier 2 solar cell company based out of Taiwan is shutting down its cell lines after making huge losses. The company which used to be in DRAM production had diversified into solar cell production. The company never really made it big and now even as the top Chinese cell companies like Motech, Neo Solar are in distress, Mosel has decided to finally shut down the lights on its solar cell lines.

Hanwha Q-cells on the other hand is looking to further expand its capacity. The company is riding high after winning a 1.5 GW order in the USA. It already has production facilities spread across China, Korea and Malaysia and benefits from its Hanwha Group parentage. The company has consolidated its position and has the world’s biggest cell production capacity. The company will have a combined cell and panel capacity of 3.7 GW and is looking to further expand capacity.

Tier 1 producers with solid balance sheets are pulling ahead in the solar industry race, with others falling behind. Those who do not have the scale and global distribution are falling behind as they get squeezed by the bigger companies. Taiwanese companies which depend on OEM orders are the worst hit. I don’t think more then 2-3 Taiwanese companies will survive, as they are not able to compete with the Chinese companies in terms of scale or marketing.


Wafer foundry service provider Mosel Vitelic has decided to stop production of crystalline silicon solar cells to curb losses from the segment. Mosel said it made the decision because there is little chance it can turn around the solar cell business. With annual production capacity of 160MWp, Mosel produced 75MWp of solar cells in 2014, accounting for 45% of its consolidated revenues for the year, according to the company.


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!