Solarwatt to close German solar module factory in August


From pv magazine Germany

German PV module manufacturer Solarwatt announced it will close its 300 MW solar panel manufacturing facility in Dresden, eastern Germany, in August. “Module production in Germany is an unacceptable burden, but we will invest heavily in other areas,” the company's CEO, Detlef Neuhaus, told pv magazine.

Production in Dresden is currently still being carried out in a two-shift system and will continue until August. Around 190 of the 750 employees across Europe will be affected by the facility's closure. “We will try to make the majority of them offers for other positions within the company, for example as fitters, planners or service employees,” said Neuhaus.

Solarwatt will also retain a core team for production and research; around 25 employees will be dedicated to quality and development and a further 20 will be dedicated to maintaining the machinery in the factory. “So if things can continue in three to four years and if market conditions improve, we can quickly ramp up German production again,” Neuhaus continued, blaming the rapid fall in module prices in the past few months as the main cause for the factory's closure.

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The move does not come as a complete surprise, as Neuhaus first announced the plan at the beginning of the year, provided Germany's current political framework did not change. With the adoption of the so-called Solarpacket 1 in the country last Friday, there are now currently no official measures to support German photovoltaic manufacturers.

Last week, the EU passed the Net-zero Industry Act, which is intended to provide resilience measures in the member states, but it is not yet known how quickly its implementation will be enforced.

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