Latest News: Company SCHOTT Solar Continues its Realignment Efforts in the Field of Photovoltaics
SCHOTT Solar AG is continuing with its realignment efforts with respect to its activities in the area of photovoltaics and will be concentrating on its fast-growing module and project business in the future. In this context, the company will be discontinuing its wafer manufacturing activities that are no longer profitable at its site in Jena and thus concluding its restructuring efforts. By realigning these activities, the company hopes to create the prerequisites for profitable growth.
290 employees at the site in Jena are affected by this move. SCHOTT is currently evaluating the prospects of offering further employment for the respective employees in other areas of the company. At the same time, the company is engaged in an intensive dialogue with social partners and striving to come up with socially acceptable solutions. The goal is to avoid having to dismiss staff for operational reasons.
Developments in the global solar market have made restructuring necessary. Overcapacities and severe declines in prices, particularly with wafers and cells, have been the dominating factors. Price pressures are being further intensified by Asian competitors for the most part. They lowered their prices for modules once again by more than 40% just like they did in 2009.
As Dr. Martin Heming, CEO of SCHOTT Solar AG, puts it: “We need to stop pursuing upstream stages of the value creation chain that only generate losses and concentrate on the fast-growing module and project business instead. With the help of this new strategy, excellent products and the strong „SCHOTT Solar‟ brand, we are in an excellent position to be able to operate successfully in the difficult solar market. We are quite optimistic because we managed to sell more modules than ever before last year and increased our market share. We plan to continue along these same lines in 2012.”
The new strategy will be rounded off by opening a technology center for monocrystalline wafers at the site in Jena. Manufacturing of thin-film photovoltaic modules will also continue in Jena. In other words, the city will remain a solar site.
High innovation potential and a growth strategy in the new focus areas
Current studies confirm that the industry is suffering from overcapacities, but still project global growth of up to 20 percent per year over the next few years. SCHOTT Solar plans to pursue innovation in order to leverage this potential. The company will be further extending its technological lead by launching its new SCHOTT PERFORM MONO high-performance module in the first half of 2012. In addition, SCHOTT Solar is also engaged in successful joint research efforts on various technologies aimed at making solar energy even more powerful and cost-effective.
These decisions will have no effect whatsoever on the field of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) that SCHOTT Solar is the market and technology leader in with its receivers for solar power plants that employ parabolic trough technology.
Saint-Gobain Solar Expands into the UK & Ireland
Saint-Gobain Solar has expanded its international presence with the launch of Saint-Gobain Solar Systems, UK and Ireland. Based in Coventry, England, Saint-Gobain Solar Systems, UK & Ireland will add to the business‟ existing global network in the USA, India and 13 countries across Europe.
Combining Saint-Gobain‟s experience in glass manufacturing with its own expertise in the development of market-leading solar PV technologies , Saint-Gobain Solar designs, manufacturers and commercialises solar solutions. It invests more than £26-million per annum in the development of innovative solar technologies which deliver optimum performance and superb aesthetics.
The business, part of Saint-Gobain Group, employs 700 people worldwide and operates three divisions : Saint-Gobain Solar Glass , a complex glass components manufacturer for the solar industry; Avancis which develops and manufactures thin-layer (CIS) technologies, and Saint-Gobain Solar Systems , a provider of complete solar solutions for the building envelope.
It has a six year track record in the design and manufacture of complete PV systems for commercial and domestic use, and in the UK and Ireland will offer three market-leading PV modules – SG Solar Suneka®, SG Solar Sunlap® and Powermax. All three products are MCS accredited. Customers will also be able to take advantage of ongoing project support and training, provided via Saint-Gobain‟s Training and Technical Academy network.
Budhi Chilkoti, general manager for Saint-Gobain Solar, UK & Ireland, said: “Our launch into the UK and Ireland is a natural progression for the business. Solar energy has an increasingly important role to play as we seek to deliver significant energy savings and reduce the levels of Co2 generated by our buildings. Our presence in UK and Ireland will give people access to a range of proven on-roof and in-roof (BiPV) PV systems that are economical, reliable and highly efficient. We also offer a 12-year and 3 months product warranty on most of our PV modules which is backed by the financial stability of the Saint-Gobain Group.”
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