Following on from the troubles facing Chinese solar panels manufacturer Suntech we noted with interest that Bosch, the German multinational, has announced that it will be closing down its solar business from 2014, following substantial losses. Bosch, generally associated with high levels of innovation and certainly quality, has been seen in the Adelaide solar market as having one of the highest quality and best performing (in terms of its panel efficiency) solar panels. Reasons credited for the announcement from Bosch include the rapid expansion of the Chinese solar manufacturers and the accompanying drop in cost per watt of solar panels, particularly following the global oversupply of p.v. and the declining market in the U.S.
So what does this mean for the Solar panels market in Adelaide? Clearly, if you are thinking about solar power then it is possible that the shake out in the manufacture of solar panels could eventually spell the bottom in terms of p.v. pricing, however this is probably some way off, meaning consumers are still in a strong position to have solar installed at relatively low historical prices in S.A. It will be interesting to see how the ‘top end’ of the solar panel market reacts in the next couple of years. Some of the highest quality Japanese manufacturers of solar panels (Sharp/Kyocera etc) may become options again for this market segment. On the other hand, given Bosch reported losses as high as $3.1 Billion, its is quite possible that other ‘big name’ panel manufacturers will also question the viability of staying in the market. Interesting times..