By Joe Mc Donald, Business Week:
Chinese solar panel makers that grew fast over the past decade are suffering big losses due to slumping global sales and a price war that threaten an industry seen by communist leaders as a role model for hopes to transform China into a technology leader.
Another looming challenge: Moves by the United States and Europe toward imposing possible anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels that might further depress sales.
Financial problems are likely to force painful changes in the Chinese industry including possible mergers, bankruptcies, factory closures or layoffs, industry analysts say.
“The next 1½ years will be very challenging,” said Frank Haugwitz, a renewable energy consultant in Beijing.
Companies have been hurt by weak sales, especially in debt-crippled Europe, the leading global solar market, but also by Chinese government policies that encouraged hundreds of small companies to rush into the industry. They flooded the market and depressed prices… Read more