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Archive for the ‘unisolar bankrupcy’ tag

Why US Solar Manufacturers are Going out of Business – Part 2

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Role of the US government in domestic solar industry:

At present the US government is taking a stance on protecting the domestic solar industry against unfair competition from the Chinese by imposing punitive import tariffs that will be as high as 240%. While this may deter some of the Chinese manufacturers from dumping massive amounts of solar panels into the US market and may force them to raise their prices, it is questionable whether this strategy will help save the domestic industry in the long run.

While taxing foreign competitors will help, it is unlikely that US manufacturers will be able to compete effectively with the Chinese even if their do raise their prices. More importantly, US manufacturers are on shaky ground in terms of current and future government funding, and it is ultimately what they need to have a shot at surviving. Importantly, in 2011, the China Development Bank offered more than $30 billion in financing to Chinese solar manufacturers, which is about 20 times more than the amount secured by US solar manufacturers from the US government (source).

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Levchik (Leo) is a renewable energy activist from Boston, MA, and has been involved with alternative energy and green construction since 2004.

In 2009, Leo and his green roofing company (CoolFlatRoof.com) sponsored Boston’s Solar Decathlon Team, providing materials and installation labor to install a cool white roof on the top of Curio home (Joint effort by Tufts University and Boston Architecture College) – more info about the project here.

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August 13th, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Why US Solar Manufacturers are Going out of Business: Part 1

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What will be the Future of the Solar Industry in US?

In the US, solar energy has been one of the fastest growing sectors of green renewable energy, backed both by government support and funding as well as a growing interest and buy-in from the general public. Over the last five years, many solar companies have experienced incredible growth, doubling and even tripling their profits every year. This unprecedented growth has been accompanied by the downfall of a number of prominent domestic solar manufacturers, who have been filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy one after another over the course of 2011 and 2012. The primary reason for these massive failures has been the inability of American solar manufacturers to compete with their Chinese counterparts who have flooded the US market with under-priced solar panels and essentially made it impossible for many US manufacturers to stay afloat. The current situation raises many questions and concerns about the future of the domestic solar industry.

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Levchik (Leo) is a renewable energy activist from Boston, MA, and has been involved with alternative energy and green construction since 2004.

In 2009, Leo and his green roofing company (CoolFlatRoof.com) sponsored Boston’s Solar Decathlon Team, providing materials and installation labor to install a cool white roof on the top of Curio home (Joint effort by Tufts University and Boston Architecture College) – more info about the project here.

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Written by Levchik B

August 13th, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Current Trends in Government and Private Investor Funding for the US Solar Industry

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Over the last couple of years there have been clear signs that the solar industry is heading toward a tough period in its development because of a steady decline in both government and private funding for large scale solar projects and companies. This trend was first evident in Europe, where countries struggling to deal with the financial crisis, started scaling down on investments into alternative sources of clean energy such as solar power. While the Obama administration was an avid supporter of the budding domestic solar industry during the president’s first term, tough economic times have also lead the government to cut back on its funding. Private venture capital firms in the US are in a similar position, many have chosen to withdraw their initial support and funding and pursue safer investment opportunities. As the solar industry in the US struggles to get back on its feet, facing stiff competition from heavily subsidized Chinese solar panels, it remains to be seen whether the tides will turn once again and the industry will get both public and private assistance that it currently seeks to survive.

Downturn in private investment: Uni-Solar’s bankruptcy auction canceled

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Levchik (Leo) is a renewable energy activist from Boston, MA, and has been involved with alternative energy and green construction since 2004.

In 2009, Leo and his green roofing company (CoolFlatRoof.com) sponsored Boston’s Solar Decathlon Team, providing materials and installation labor to install a cool white roof on the top of Curio home (Joint effort by Tufts University and Boston Architecture College) – more info about the project here.

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Written by Levchik B

June 4th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Uni-Solar’s Bankruptcy and what it reveals about the state of the Solar Industry in US

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The solar industry in the US has been experiencing a noticable downturn after a few years of booming growth, forcing a number of major manufacturers to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The demand for solar panels has been on the decline while the supply has drastically risen fueled by massive imports from China, causing a drop in panel prices that most US manufacturers cannot compete with, even with government support. Uni-Solar is yet another prominent domestic manufacturer of solar panels that had to file for bankruptcy. The company’s financial situation, subsequent worker layoffs and a recent cancellation of the bankruptcy auction offer a telling commentary on the general state of the solar industry in the US today. While there can be no doubt that the domestic solar industry is only in its infancy and it is normal for a new industry to experience growing pains, the reality is that the industry’s future depends as much on the natural adjustments of supply and demand as on its ability to effectively restructure its operations, and secure government and private funds.

Uni-Solar files for bankruptcy

Uni-Solar, manufacturer of makes thin-film solar products for commercial rooftops and metal roof integrated solar systems, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on February 14, 2012. As the reason for bankruptcy the company sited that it has $263 million in debt notes due next year that it is unable to repay.

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Levchik (Leo) is a renewable energy activist from Boston, MA, and has been involved with alternative energy and green construction since 2004.

In 2009, Leo and his green roofing company (CoolFlatRoof.com) sponsored Boston’s Solar Decathlon Team, providing materials and installation labor to install a cool white roof on the top of Curio home (Joint effort by Tufts University and Boston Architecture College) – more info about the project here.

Follow Levchik B:

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Written by Levchik B

June 4th, 2012 at 7:09 pm