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European subsidies, mostly in Germany, led to massive expansion of the companies green energy industry

Solar Industry Financial Woes

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By —— Bio and Archives December 6, 2017

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Solar Industry Financial Woes
Germany’s last remaining major solar manufacturer, Bonn-based Solarworld, earlier this year announced it would file for bankruptcy. Solarworld’s demise was the last in a spectacular series of solar manufacturer bankruptcies that swept across Germany over the past year, with names like Solon, Solar Millennium and Q-Cells going under. 1

Up to 100 solar PV firms in Japan could face bankruptcy this year, with more than double the number of firms going bust in the first half of the year than in the same period in 2016.2

Reporting from Australia, Joanne Nova notes, “Another award winning solar project collapsed. It was a $105 million dollar scheme. One company, Areva, lost about $50 million and so the taxpayer. The project was supposed to supply cheaper, greener energy to up to 5,000 homes but after six years and tens of millions of dollars, this cutting edge solar energy project has produced nothing other than a large taxpayer funded pile of scrap. With only 5,000 homes, that’s $20,000 per house which doesn’t sound like ‘cheap’ electricity. Solar is so dismal that even bulk solar power in the sunniest spot in the world was going to take years to break even—and that is if it worked.” 3

Says Anthony Watts, “The solar industry’s biggest problem is likely the very mechanism that led to its rise: lucrative subsidies. European subsidies, mostly in Germany, led to massive expansion of the companies green energy industry, but eventually subsidies became their undoing as cheaper solar panels from China began to win out.” 4


  1. Pierre Gosselin, “German-Spanish wind energy giant to lay off 6,000 workers citing changing market conditions,”, November 7, 2017
  2. Joanne Nova, “Japan: fifty solar PV companies already gone in 2017 as subsidies end. Coal soaring,”, July 20, 2017
  3. Joanne Nova, “Another glorious solar scheme fails ignominiously due to fast clouds, rusty pipes and dumb decisions,”, May 22, 2017
  4. Anthony Watts, “Europe’s biggest solar company goes up in smoke,”, May 12, 2017


Jack Dini -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jack Dini is author of Challenging Environmental Mythology.  He has also written for American Council on Science and Health, Environment & Climate News, and Hawaii Reporter.