SolarWorld, an international solar panel manufacturer headquartered in Germany and with a manufacturing facility in Oregon filed for insolvency in Bonn, Germany this week. It’s the latest solar manufacturer to fall with the news coming shortly after the announcement that Suniva filed for bankruptcy in the US.
“The management board of SolarWorld AG, after having conducted a diligent review, came to the conclusion today that due to the ongoing price erosion and the development of the business, the company no longer has a positive going concern prognosis, is therefore over-indebted and thus obliged to file for insolvency proceedings,” The company said in a statement. “It is currently under evaluation if a respective obligation to file for insolvency proceedings is also given with regard to affiliated companies of SolarWorld AG.”
The news comes shortly after the company announced poor results for the first quarter of 2017. “SolarWorld AG sold 382 MW in a difficult market environment and thus increased its group-wide shipments both versus previous year’s quarter (Q1 2016: 340 MW) and versus previous quarter (Q4 2016: 348 MW),” SolarWorld said. Despite that its loss for the quarter was 18 million euros. In the previous quarter it lost 41 million euros.
The company had long rallied against cheap crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels from China and was involved in trade actions in the US and Europe to impose tariffs on their import on the basis that China was selling panels at below market values. However, those efforts were not successful in keeping prices high enough for SolarWorld’s crystalline silicon panels to be competitive with Chinese imports.
Such trade actions are controversial in the solar industry. In fact, Suniva, even as it filed for bankruptcy protection, it also filed a Section 201 petition with the US International Trade Commission. That “escape clause” filing would impose a tariff of up to 78 cents per watt on imported photovoltaic solar panels and cells. The solar industry is concerned that such an action could double the cost of PV modules in the US.Tweet