SolarWorld AG: production of multicrystalline wafers, cells & modules to end
In the course of 2017, SolarWorld AG is going to focus its business activities entirely on the production and sale of high-efficiency products based on monocrystalline silicon technology and PERC (passivated emitter rear cell).
The production of multicrystalline wafers, cells and modules, the efficiencies of which are lower for technological reasons, are going to be shut down in the course of 2017. The group’s R&D subsidiary SolarWorld Innovations GmbH will focus on efficiency-enhancing processes that can be combined with PERC. Today, SolarWorld already offers Bisun modules, which turn sunlight into power from the front and the back side and are a further development of PERC. “Whoever buys SolarWorld shall get high efficiency – always,” says Dr.-Ing. E. h. Frank Asbeck, CEO of SolarWorld AG. “We will compete successfully by focusing exclusively on innovative solar technology with the highest quality, longevity and efficiency.” Measures include plans to bundle steps of the value chain at individual sites: crystal growing and cell manufacturing in Arnstadt, Thuringia, wafering and module manufacturing in Freiberg, Saxony. Thus, the group can reach economies of scale faster, reduce redundancies, simplify processes and create room for future growth. The smaller production entities for modules in Arnstadt and for cells in Freiberg will be relocated. At the U.S. site in Hillsboro, SolarWorld is already exclusively producing PERC cells and modules. These measures will lead to lower expenses for production, sales and overhead and a staff reduction of about 400 by 2019. In parallel, SolarWorld is going to invest a mid-double-digit million amount in the continuous expansion and the improvement of its high efficiency technologies. Dr.-Ing. E. h. Frank Asbeck: “These measures will decrease costs and increase efficiency significantly. Our aim is to come out of the difficult phase for the solar market stronger than before and to raise module shipments to about 2 gigawatts by 2019.”