The contraction that started last week in the number of solarmanufacturers is only the beginning and will peak in 2010 according tothe report Opportunities in The Solar Market For Crystalline and Thin Film Solar Cells, published by The Information Network.
“Inour release on September 3 we forecast that in 2010 as many as 50percent of the more than 200 solar manufacturers, mired in red ink withcurrent selling prices above $2.00 per watt, may not survive,” notedDr. Robert Castellano, President of The Information Network. “Thefreefall has begun.”
* General Electric plans to close its onlyUS solar panel factory because production costs have exceeded saleprices. The factory can produce 34 megawatts.
* Evergreen Solar saidit would move panel production from its factory in Devens, Mass., toChina next year in order to cut costs.
* Earlier this year, BP Solarannounced it would close its solar panel factory in Maryland andoutsource that work to a contract manufacturer.
* In October, BP said it had hired Jabil Circuit to assemble panels at a Jabil factory in Poland.
“Our analysis of what companies will fail this year and next are in our report,” added Dr. Castellano.
Solarpanel manufacturers that have reported losses just in the past fewweeks include Energy Conversion Devices Inc, JA Solar, LDK Solar,ReneSola, Solar Power, and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd.
Interestingly,five of the six companies are Chinese. They continue to increaseinventory, lose money, and affect the entire solar panel industry.Perhaps, it is an attempt to become the worldwide leader in the solarmarket by eliminating the competition.