Christoph's Feed
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.

Mar 27, 2012

Solar sector crisis befalls Centrotherm, Q-Cells

FRANKFURT, March 27 (Reuters) – German solar power firms
Centrotherm and Q-Cells both reported annual
losses on Tuesday in results symptomatic of an industry
struggling worldwide with rapid price declines, production
overcapacities and plunging government subsidies.

Centrotherm, a maker of machines needed to produce solar
cells and modules, reported on Tuesday it made a net loss of
15.9 million euros ($21.2 million), compared with a net profit
of 51.1 million euros in 2010. It did not provide an outlook for
sales and profits this year.

Mar 22, 2012

SolarWorld aims for 2012 operating profit

BONN, Germany, March 22 (Reuters) – Germany’s SolarWorld
aims to return to profit on an operating level this
year, after massive declines in module prices and factory
closures led it to post a huge net loss in 2011, considered the
worst year for the industry so far.

“The year 2011 was a tough one for the industry and not
satisfactory for SolarWorld,” said Chief Executive Frank Asbeck,
nicknamed “sun king” for his outgoing nature.

Mar 14, 2012

Foreign expansion, renewables to boost E.ON profit

DUESSELDORF, Germany, March 14 (Reuters) – Germany’s
biggest utility, E.ON, expects renewable energy and
foreign expansion to lift core profit this year and next after
the country’s decision to phase out nuclear power accounted for
most of its first-ever full-year net loss.

Chief Executive Johannes Teyssen said on Wednesday that E.ON
was pleased with growth at its renewable unit – spanning wind,
solar and hydro power – where 2011 core profit rose 21 percent
to 1.5 billion euros.

Mar 14, 2012

Expansion, green energy to boost E.ON profit

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – E.ON (EONGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said renewable energy and foreign expansion should help lift core profit this year and next, after Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power led to the country’s biggest utility posting its first full-year net loss.

Chief executive Johannes Teyssen said on Wednesday E.ON was pleased with the growth in its renewable unit — spanning wind, solar and hydro power — where 2011 core profit rose 21 percent to 1.5 billion euros ($2.0 billion).

Mar 5, 2012

New Dutch CEO must lead RWE into post-nuclear age

FRANKFURT, March 5 (Reuters) – RWE AG’s
pragmatic, hybrid-car driving new leader Peter Terium faces a
major challenge as he tries to reposition a company that was
defined for years by its outgoing chief and his “nuclear Rambo”
approach.

Terium may bring less charisma to the top job of Germany’s
No.2 utility than Juergen Grossmann, whom he is scheduled to
replace as CEO on July 1, 2012 and whose pro-nuclear power
stance earned him the tough guy nickname.

Feb 23, 2012

Germany to cut solar subsidies faster than expected

BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany plans to bring forward cuts in solar power subsidies of up to 30 percent by almost a month to March 9, spelling further trouble for companies selling solar panels in the world’s No.2 market.

Government sources had told Reuters on Wednesday the cuts of 20 to 30 percent would be moved forward to April 1, news that sent share prices tumbling. On Thursday Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen and Economy Minister Philipp said the cuts would be moved forward even more, to March 9, to thwart any last-minute boom in projects, a further blow to producers.

Feb 23, 2012

Germany to cut solar incentives faster than expected

BERLIN/FRANKFURT, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Germany aims to
reduce solar power incentives by between 20 percent and 30
percent from March 9, rather than from April 1, which is what
had been expected, spelling further trouble for companies
selling panels in the world’s No.2 photovoltaic market.

Shares in European solar companies fell on the news, with
sector bellwethers SolarWorld (SWVG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), SMA Solar (S92G.DE: Quote, Profile, Research),
Q-Cells (QCEG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), Renewable Energy Corp (REC) (REC.OL: Quote, Profile, Research) and
Centrotherm (CTNG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) down by between 3.2 and 8.3 percent by
1248 GMT.

Feb 10, 2012

Germany jails Kosovan for life for killing U.S. airmen

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A Kosovo-Albanian man who killed two U.S. airmen and wounded two others in a gun attack at Frankfurt airport last March was sentenced to life in prison by German court on Friday.

Arid Uka, a 22-year-old who was raised in Germany, had confessed to the attack and said he acted after seeing a video apparently showing U.S. soldiers raping Muslim women.

    • 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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