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Another UK Solar Factory Closes Down As European Manufacturing Dinosaurs Face Inevitable Death

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Europe’s Solar Market in Grave Danger

European solar factories have been closing down over the last 5-7 years as the Chinese juggernaut of massive low-cost products shows no sign of slowing down despite overcapacity persisting over the years. The European companies which were at the forefront of solar manufacturing have become tiny and insignificant in the face of Asian giants who have completely taken over this industry. Most of the players are gone and even remembering their names is difficult now (Q-Cells, Ersol etc.). Some of the others such as REC have been bought by the Chinese companies themselves.

PV Crsytalox Solar one of the smaller European companies has managed to survive this turbulent decade. Its scale of operations has always remained small but it survived by supplying solar wafers to small solar cell and module companies in Europe. It has a capacity of only 200 MW which is puny in comparison to the largest Chinese company which have multi gigawatts of capacity. But now PV Crystalox is finding it hard to even sell this tiny capacity since most of its customers have gone bankrupt. Its technology has also become obsolete (it was always high cost) as the much larger Chinese companies improve their technology at a rapid pace.

Community Solar

The company is closing down its UK factory though the German factory for making wafers will continue for now (don’t think too long). The European solar manufacturing industry recently wrote a letter to the EU to impose more protectionist measures to protect the industry as innovation will die down with the death of the industry in Europe. However, despite the European quotes and anti dumping duties, imports have captured the whole European market.

SolarWorld which was another European dinosaur finally shut down its factories after fighting a long lonely battle for the last 7-8 years. Once the largest solar manufacturing company, SolarWorld had been surviving after the USA and Europe put ADD on solar imports. But the huge price fall last year sounded the death knell of the remaining European and USA companies with operations in the West. Suniva was another major Western cell maker that recently went bankrupt.


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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