Sunny Days for Survivors

Some are seeing some sun in the solar industry.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The growing U.S. market is fertile ground for solar firms that were hurt by a glut of Chinese modules and declining prices.

  • Facts


    • The number-one solar module maker in Germany, Hanwha Q-Cells, is building a new factory in Malaysia.
    • Two years ago, the U.S. government pushed through high tariffs on solar modules from China.
    • The Norwegian firm REC sold 16 percent of its modules in the United States in the third quarter. Bonn-based Solarworld sold 42 percent of its modules in the U.S. market
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The solar industry has shocked customers and financial markets with losses, layoffs and bankruptcies in recent years. But those grim times are over for now – and the survivors are investing again in production.

REC, the Norwegian solar manufacturer, is expanding its module capacity by 300 megawatts, to a total of 1,200 megawatts, marketing director Luc Graré told Handelsblatt.

Two other large European producers of solar modules are also increasing their capacities. The number-one maker in Germany, Hanwha Q-Cells, recently announced it is building a new factory in Malaysia, and intends to increase module capacity from 700 to 1,500 megawatts. And Bonn-based Solarworld is expanding its capacity in the United States from 380 to 630 megawatts. That will take the company up to the number-two position in Europe, with a total of 1,300 megawatts.

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