Germany-based Bosch plans to discontinue its activities in crystalline photovoltaics, ending its manufacture of ingots, wafers, cells and modules in the beginning of 2014.
All development and marketing activities will likewise be wound down, and the company's module plant in Venissieux, France, will be sold. Plans to construct a manufacturing facility in Malaysia have been canceled.
Bosch also plans to sell its shares in aleo solar AG. Meanwhile, Bosch Solar CISTech GmbH in Brandenburg, Germany, will continue operations as a development center for thin-film technology. Its ‘future alignment’ will be decided at a later date, Bosch says.
Over the past years, Bosch Solar Energy has tried unsuccessfully to achieve a competitive position. Due to global overcapacity, nearly the entire industry is sustaining heavy losses, the company says.
‘Despite extensive measures to reduce manufacturing cost over the past year, we were unable to offset the drop in prices, which was as much as 40 percent,’ notes Dr. Stefan Hartung, chairman of the Bosch Solar Energy AG supervisory board and member of the Robert Bosch GmbH management board.
Bosch's solar division currently employs approximately 3,000 associates, including 850 at aleo solar AG and 150 at CISTech. The company has made a series of management changes in conjunction with the crystalline PV shutdown.