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Rediff.com  » Business » Bosch pulls the plug on solar business

Bosch pulls the plug on solar business

March 25, 2013 09:08 IST

Solar panelsBosch, the global major in automotive components, is shutting down its solar business. But, Bosch has promised to meet its commitments and timelines.

In India, the company started the photovoltaic business in 2011 as a turnkey solutions provider.

The solar panels were procured from Bosch in Germany and the design, engineering and procurement of the overall systems were taken up by Bosch in India.

Steffen Berns, managing director, Bosch Limited, and president of Bosch Group in India, confirmed: “The decision to discontinue cell and module manufacturing by Bosch Germany from 2014 will not hamper our ongoing projects in India.

The Solar India team will focus on completion of the Indian projects.

Bosch in India shall continue to explore business opportunities in other areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency that Bosch is active in, e.g. solar thermal energy, heat-pumps, wind power, solar inverters as well as of course efficiency technologies in automotive applications.”

This decision is a fallout of Bosch’s decision to discontinue its activities in crystalline photovoltaics globally.

Bosch’s manufacture of ingots, wafers, cells, and modules will cease at the beginning of 2014.

As far as possible, individual units are to be sold quickly.

All development and marketing activities are likewise to be ended.

Bosch Solar CISTech GmbH in Brandenburg, Germany, will be continued -- as before -- as a development centre for thin-film technology. Its future alignment will be decided at a later date.

Over the past few years, Bosch Solar Energy has tried unsuccessfully to achieve a competitive position.

Because of global overcapacity, nearly the entire industry has been sustaining heavy losses.

As announced in January 2013, the losses of Bosch Solar Energy division came to some Euro 1 billion last year despite extensive measures to reduce the manufacturing cost.

The division presently employs some 3,000 associates.

“In the recent months, Bosch has examined every aspect of its solar business.

"We have considered the latest technological advances, cost-reduction potential, and strategic alignment.

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,” said Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management.

BS Reporter in Chennai/Bengaluru
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