Once the world’s largest solar firm, Q-Cells files for bankruptcy

Adam Jablonowski Contributor
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German green energy producer Q-Cells doesn’t have a “secure financial basis” for continuing operations, officials said in a statement released Monday.

The company, once the world’s largest solar cell maker, is now seeking protection from its creditors after failing to find “alternative funding” to restructure its finances. It blamed cheaper panel imports from Asia and cuts in government solar energy incentives for its demise.

Government backed Chinese solar firms have a financial advantage over their competitors, providing the same product for roughly one-third of the price.

Q-Cells reported a net loss of 846 million euros ($1.11 billion) for 2011, its worst year in history. It is the fourth company in the renewable energy industry to file for bankruptcy in recent months.

“The fall in prices in recent months has exceeded our expectations,” Frank Asbeck, head of the competing German firm Solarworld, told the DPA news agency in February.

This summer the German government plans to cut subsidies to solar energy firms by 30 percent. The reduction in funding and decreases in price guarantees could spell the end of the German solar energy industry.

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