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Solar trade war instigator Solarworld expects to increase revenue by 30% in 2015 though profits still elusive

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Will Solarworld survive

The German solar company Solarworld which instigated the solar trade war between USA and China as well as the volumes and price quotas on China by Europe, should see 30% increase in revenues in 2015 to 700 million Euros. However, the company will still be making losses as has been the case over the last several years, as it will have an EBITDA margin of only 1.5% which means big losses on the net profit level.

Read more abont German Solar Panels here.

Solarworld has seen its shipments rise primarily in the USA to around 250 MW quarterly run rate. However in the global scheme of things Solarworld has become a small fish, given that its main competitors in China are shipping at more than a gigawatt run rate quarterly and they are profitable on the net margin level as well. That said, Solarworld is surviving due to the USA and European duties and sanctions on imports of Chinese made solar panels. Without that it would not be shipping any panels with or without profits. While Solarworld continues to survive now, I don’t think it would do so in the future, given the company’s lack of scale and competitiveness. Other companies in USA such as SolarCity are expanding capacity for making solar panels at much lower costs. Even First Solar is going to start its shut down lines in USA plants. Chinese companies will also regain their lost competitiveness by circumventing the USA duties through building plants in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

I think the USA sanctions have been completely useless for all stakeholders. While short term distortions helped a few organizations and harmed many, in the long term it will cease to benefit any organization as the market reasserts itself.


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

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