Suntech responds to SolarWorld threat

The global PV market is currently in a difficult position, with discussions about further solar incentive cuts in key European markets leading to heightened uncertainty.

The first quarter of 2011 has been extremely weak for many German companies. Now German newspaper Handelsblatt has reported that SolarWorld plans to compete for a major order from Siemens against Chinese competitor Suntech Power Holdings.

The newspaper has learned from industry sources that SolarWorld is planning to compete for the delivery of several hundred megawatts modules by offering more competitive prices, even though Suntech closed a framework contract with Siemens at the beginning of the year. ?

SolarWorld’s CEO Frank Asbeck would only confirm that his company has reached an agreement with Siemens.

Suntech reacted calmly to the report. "If SolarWorld also comes out with a proposal for the project, that does not affect our current framework contract with Siemens," Bjorn Emde, Suntech’s spokesperson, commented. "Rather, we welcome the fact that SolarWorld is initiating a healthy level of competition at this level. This is good for the market and for customers in Europe."

Siemens plans to implement 50 to 100 megawatts of solar projects in total this year, according to the report. Next year, this will rise to about one gigawatt. The required quantities of solar modules for the projects were announced by Siemens in blocks. The prices are relevant for SiemensÂ’ decision, reports Handelsblatt.

In other news, Suntech has introduced a new 245 watt module – a mono-crystalline 60 cell module (STP245S-20/Wd) – specifically designed for residential and small commercial rooftop applications, to the European market.