Bosch has announced it is to discontinue its activities in crystalline photovoltaics and the manufacture of ingots, wafers, cells, and modules will be ceased at beginning of 2014.
As part of its withdrawal from the PV sector, all development and marketing activities to be ended, the company’s module plant in Vénissieux, France, is to be sold and plans to construct a manufacturing facility in Malaysia will be ended. Bosch also plans to sell its shares in aleo solar AG.
Bosch Solar CISTech GmbH in Brandenburg, Germany, will continue as a development centre for thin-film technology but its future alignment will be decided at a later date.
Bosch says its Solar Energy division had tried unsuccessfully to achieve a competitive position and sustained a €1bn loss last year – something it attributes to global overcapacity.
Dr Stefan Hartung, chairman of the Bosch Solar Energy AG supervisory board, said: “Despite extensive measures to reduce manufacturing cost over the past year, we were unable to offset the drop in prices, which was as much as 40 percent.
“We know full well that associates face a difficult time. Together with the employee representatives, we will search for solutions that are as acceptable as possible. We appreciate the hard work done by our Solar Energy associates. Over the past year, our associates have fought hard for the future of their division. For this, we owe them our thanks. Nonetheless, our joint efforts to achieve long-term economic stability failed to bear fruit.”
Dr Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, added: “Over recent months, Bosch has comprehensively examined every aspect of its solar business. We have considered the latest technological advances, cost-reduction potential, and strategic alignment. And there have also been talks with potential partners. However, none of these possibilities resulted in a solution for the Solar Energy division that would be economically viable over the long term. We deeply regret this.”