The solar industry saw several highly visible company failures in 2011. Other recent industry events include:
• Japanese conglomerate SUMCO announced liquidation of its solar subsidiaries, raw material manufacturer Minamata Denshi Company and wafer manufacturer (continuous casting) SUMCO Solar, due to continued pressure on prices.
• REC Group reported heavier-than-expected losses in 4Q11, though it did cite some improved module demand "at the very end" of the quarter. But the company reportedly is mulling more plant closures, and even willingness to explore a merger or acquisition.
• Bekaert, which supplies wire saws to slice silicon ingots into wafers, says it will is restructuring, determining that "immediate action" is needed to fight off "difficult market conditions in the solar energy sector."
Consolidation can provide a healthy winnowing out for an industry. The current era of consolidation in the solar industry, though expected, is not healthy, however -- it is the direct result of blind faith in the inevitability of incentives, while ignoring the inherent risks of an incentive-driven market.
Click here to read article.