Christoph's Feed
Jun 1, 2012

Analysis: In solar: go big, boutique or bust

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Solar companies could be well advised to look to chip makers to figure out how to survive a sector shake-out, as the consolidation of the semiconductor industry suggests it is all about either being big and basic or small and selective.

Following insolvency filings in the past year that have included six heavyweight solar companies in Germany and the United States, industry experts and analysts say those players who can boast neither scale nor specialization look doomed.

May 22, 2012

Dealtalk: RWE DEA assets face hard sell

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – RWE’s (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sale of assets from its oil and gas exploration unit DEA may prove complicated but could fetch up to 1.25 billion euros ($1.6 billion) and ease the pain of a fast-track nuclear exit by Germany’s No.2 utility.

RWE is giving high priority to its DEA disposals as part of a wider streamlining programme that also includes Czech gas transmission system NET4Gas, RWE’s stake in water utility Berlinwasser and selected plant capacities.

May 22, 2012

RWE DEA assets face hard sell

FRANKFURT, May 22 (Reuters) – RWE’s (RWEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) sale of assets
from its oil and gas exploration unit DEA may prove complicated
but could fetch up to 1.25 billion euros ($1.6 billion) and ease
the pain of a fast-track nuclear exit by Germany’s No.2 utility.

RWE is giving high priority to its DEA disposals as part of
a wider streamlining programme that also includes Czech gas
transmission system NET4Gas, RWE’s stake in water utility
Berlinwasser and selected plant capacities.

May 10, 2012

German solar elite gain from strong demand surge

FRANKFURT, May 10 (Reuters) – Strong demand ahead of steep
cuts in sector subsidies gave Germany’s battered solar industry
a respite in the first quarter, with the country’s two biggest
players beating profit expectations.

Germany’s bellwether SMA Solar benefited from
customers rushing to buy solar technology ahead of cuts in
subsidies and posted first-quarter net profit of 29.6 million
euros ($38.3 million), significantly more than analysts had
forecast.

May 10, 2012

RWE further reduces exposure to high import prices

FRANKFURT, May 10 (Reuters) – RWE, Germany’s No.2
utility, said it has further reduced its exposure to previously
agreed high import prices and is on target to be free from
crippling gas losses after 2012 at the latest.

The company said it was conducting price reviews with its
gas suppliers and had already received compensatory payments for
some contracts, the last one of which was in April.

May 4, 2012

Solar woes hit Wacker Chemie, Centrotherm

FRANKFURT, May 4 (Reuters) – Wacker Chemie and
Centrotherm, showed the effects of a solar industry
shake-out, with earnings and margins coming under pressure as
falling government incentives for solar power and cheap Asian
rivals squeeze western peers.

Wacker Chemie – the world’s second-biggest maker of
polysilicon, a key component needed to make solar cells – said
profit margins at its polysilicon unit fell significantly in the
first quarter due to high raw material costs and low selling
prices.

Apr 12, 2012

E.ON waste burning ops could be tough sell-sources

FRANKFURT, April 12 (Reuters) – E.ON’s waste
burning unit could be a hard sell due to overcapacity in the
industry, according to banking and industry sources who revealed
early bids of 1.2-1.5 billion euros ($1.6-$2.0 billion) but
expect them to be revised lower.

U.S.-based Foster Wheeler, Singapore’s Sembcorp
, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, Swedish private
equity group EQT, German construction group Papenburg and German
utility MVV have all placed tentative bids within
that range for E.ON’s Energy from Waste unit, investment banking
sources said.

Apr 12, 2012

EU solar industry needs detox, not duties

FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Duties to fend off competition from cheaper Chinese solar panels risk feeding the European sector’s addiction to artificial subsidies, destroying more jobs than they save and stoking tension with one of the EU’s biggest trading partners.

Policy decisions by EU governments, among them Germany’s deep cuts in solar power incentives, show politicians have little appetite in the current climate to support an industry if it cannot stand alone.

Apr 11, 2012

Analysis – EU solar industry needs detox, not duties

FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Duties to fend off competition from cheaper Chinese solar panels risk feeding the European sector’s addiction to artificial subsidies, destroying more jobs than they save and stoking tension with one of the EU’s biggest trading partners.

Policy decisions by EU governments, among them Germany’s deep cuts in solar power incentives, show politicians have little appetite in the current climate to support an industry if it cannot stand alone.

Mar 29, 2012

SMA Solar’s market share drops as rivals circle in

FRANKFURT, March 29 (Reuters) – SMA Solar,
Germany’s top solar company, revealed its market share dropped
significantly in 2011, as the world’s largest maker of solar
inverters came under heavy attack from cheaper Asian rivals and
was hurt by plunging equipment prices.

The company said its share in the global market for solar
inverters, a key component in solar installations to feed solar
power into the power grid, dropped to about a third in 2011,
from about 40 percent in 2010.

    • About Christoph

      "I'm responsible for the coverage of German renewable companies, mainly solar, at Reuters News. Previously, I have worked as a correspondent at Thomson Financial News, covering German technology and construction companies."
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