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Changsha, China

LDK Solar Co. Ltd., located in Xinyu City, Jiangxi province in the People's Republic of China, manufactures multicrystalline solar wafers used in solar cells. Additionally, LDK provides wafering services for both monocrystalline and multicrystalline wafers to companies who provide their own ingot stock. LDK's principal customers have included CSI, Chinalight Solar Co., Ltd., Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd., Solartech Energy Corp., Solland Solar Energy B.V., and Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. The company has sold wafers to Chinalight primarily pursuant to short-term sales contracts, and monthly and quarterly purchase orders. Wikipedia.

News Article | May 18, 2015
Site: www.bloomberg.com

Solar panel makers globally are preparing for their best year since 2011, when U.S.-backed Solyndra LLC went bust, as China and Japan take advantage of falling prices to shift more of their energy production to clean power. Panel production is forecast to grow by almost a third this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s a significant reversal for an industry that’s been crippled by its own excess as companies in China including JA Solar Holdings Co. and LDK Solar Co. raised almost $3 billion in 2007 and 2008 to expand production. By 2010, the market was so oversupplied that the cost of solar cells began tumbling. With the cost of panels down by 66 percent since then, demand is surging as solar technology, for the first time, is able to compete head-to-head on price with fossil fuels in many places. “We’re in a period of rational excitement,” said Patrick Jobin, analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, in a telephone interview. “It’s night and day how different the industry is now than it was three years ago.” All that demand from Asia will benefit companies in China, which produce more than 75 percent of the world’s panels. Shipments are also increasing for U.S. companies including SunPower Corp., which said in April that China is becoming its fastest growing market. China, in a pact with U.S. President Barack Obama, agreed in November to get 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, with its total carbon emissions peaking the same year. To reach that goal, the Chinese government earlier this year boosted its target for 2015 solar installations to 17.8 gigawatts from about 12 gigawatts. Japan may install as much as 12.7 gigawatts of solar power this year, the most after China. The country has promoted wider use of renewable energy, especially rooftop panels, after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown. Cheaper solar has also made the technology more economically viable for emerging economies such as India and South Africa. In India, for instance, developers are installing panels to replace diesel generators that cost more to fuel. The promise of solar panels stumbled in 2011 when Solyndra became a symbol in the U.S. of wasteful expansion in the industry. After receiving $528 million in U.S. backing, the company found it couldn’t compete as capacity in China swelled and panel prices plunged. Now, the industry is rapidly recreating itself. Led by its biggest producer, China’s Trina Solar Ltd., manufacturers are expected to produce as much as 55 gigawatts of panels this year, enough to power 11 million U.S. homes and 31 percent more than last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The Colorado researcher IHS Inc. is more optimistic, anticipating 61 gigawatts of shipments, with profit doubling from last year to $5 billion. Shares have responded, with the NYSE Bloomberg Global Solar Energy Index of 132 companies gaining 65 percent this year, outpacing the 3.4 percent gain for the S&P 500. “We see a boom this year and next,” said Ash Sharma, a senior research director at IHS. He expects capital spending to rise through 2016. Still, not all companies are placed to benefit. Baoding, China-based Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., the second-largest panel maker, said Friday there’s “substantial doubt” about its ability to remain in business. The company is carrying over $2 billion in debt and hasn’t reported a profit since the second quarter of 2011. The company said Tuesday that it’s seeking investors. According to Jenny Chase, lead solar analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Yingli’s reputation is “for compromising on margin to sell volume,” which has made “it popular with project developers, but has obvious consequences for the balance sheet.” The broader revival shows that solar power is becoming an increasingly viable alternative to fossil fuels as governments around the world work to curb global warming. More than 1,000 executives from all industries will be meeting Wednesday and Thursday at UNESCO headquarters in Paris to discuss their plans to address climate change. That’s a turnaround from the solar slump that started with Solyndra’s failure and pushed more than two dozen manufacturers into bankruptcy. This year, Trina and its competitors will invest more than $5.6 billion in boosting output, according to IHS. “We will expand our capacity,” Teresa Tan, chief financial officer of Changzhou, China-based Trina, told analysts in March. She said Trina is “exploring other vehicles and venues to improve our capacity” and will invest $250 to $300 million this year, up from $135 million in 2014. Trina is spending $160 million to build a plant in Thailand that will be able to make 500 megawatts of panels and 700 megawatts of cells. A rival Chinese panelmaker, JinkoSolar Holding Co., has said it plans to spend about $100 million on a factory in Malaysia. “There’ll definitely be shortage of panel supply in the second half,” said Xie Jian, president of JA Solar, in an interview. The Shanghai-based company, the fifth-largest panel maker, earned a profit for the first time since 2010 last year. It expects shipments to rise as much as 67 percent this year to as much as 4 gigawatts. JinkoSolar, too, sees itself increasing production. The company was running at 100 percent capacity in the fourth quarter, Chief Financial Officer Haiyun Cao told investors in March. “We are looking to expand our capacity by 20 percent to 25 percent in 2015,” Haiyun said. “We are coming off from a two to three year period where there was limited capacity expansion,” Angelo Zino, an analyst at S&P Capital IQ in New York, said in an interview. “It illustrates the health of the industry.” For more, read this QuickTake: Solar Energy

News Article | January 18, 2011
Site: techcrunch.com

ReneSola (NYSE: SOL) a major manufacturer of solar products based in Jiashan, China announced this week that its new silicon-based wafer, dubbed the Virtus, boosts multicrystalline solar cell efficiency to 17.5 percent. The company plans to sell the Virtus Wafer to manufacturers of multicrystalline solar cells. Its earlier customers in this segment have included: Suntech Power, JA Solar, and ARISE Technologies. JC Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of ReneSola which makes multicrystalline solar cells and modules, will both test and use the Virtus in its products, of course. Why is ReneSola shouting their un-verified wafer claims to the rooftops? Is this really a huge breakthrough? Companies like SunPower in San Jose, California or SunGrid in Australia have been producing monocrystalline solar cells for years that are even more efficient than 17.5 percent. However, monocrystalline cells and panels have tended to be more expensive than polycrystalline varieties due to more complicated manufacturing requirements. ReneSola’s Virtus Wafer could help bring the cheaper-to-make variety of solar tech — multicrystalline solar cells and panels — to be about as efficient as monocrystalline varieties, without being as costly to manufacture. (Making solar power more affordable, eventually to the point where solar is at parity or better versus coal and oil, remains a holy grail within the sector.) ReneSolar plans to embark on pilot production of their Virtus Wafer in early 2011, according to a company press statement. Thus far, the wafer has been tested in solar cells made by some of the company’s clients, and in their own labs. However, it has not been tested by the U.S.-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a verifier of cell efficiency claims, nor by an NREL equivalent in another country. The wafer still has yet to be tested in use within solar panels in any lab. Those initial tests of panels incorporating this wafer are under way, a company spokesperson confirmed. ReneSola’s competition in the quest to build a better wafer — one that improves the efficiency of solar photovoltaics, but is not more expensive to manufacture — range from the venture-backed Boston startup, 1366 Technologies to a fellow, major solar manufacturer in China, LDK Solar.

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/7gnlxh/research_report) has announced the addition of the "Research Report on China's Photovoltaic (PV) Industry, 2015-2019" report to their offering. In recent years, the photovoltaic industry in China has undergone rapid development. And in 2007, China became the largest photovoltaic producer with export reaching USD 2.838 billion. In 2014, China's total imports and exports of solar photovoltaic cells was USD 18.28 billion which increased at 15.09% year on year, among of which export was USD 14.41 billion, increasing at 17.27% and import was USD 3.87 billion, increasing at 7.62% year on year. For photovoltaic export, the following problems exist in export structure and market: overdependence on processing trade, lack of independent R&D system, unstable structure of the export market and the risk of trade frictions in the emerging market. As to the current development of photovoltaic market in China, there are still some problems like financing difficulty, high construction cost, long payback period and difficulty in connecting to grid despite a series of support policies issued by the government. To some extent, photovoltaic industry in China still faces the problem of depending on overseas countries for raw materials and market. Particularly, as photovoltaic is export-oriented, trade frictions are easy to occur. Meanwhile, due to the overall low level of profitability in photovoltaic industry and the underinvestment in research and development, most photovoltaic enterprises have not yet built a mature R&D system and the technological level of products is generally low. 6 Import, Export and Trade Friction Analysis of Photovoltaic in China

News Article | August 10, 2010
Site: gigaom.com

Happy greentech earnings day! Some major bellweathers of emerging green industries — including solar maker SunPower, LED chip company Cree, lithium ion battery producer A123 Systems and solar wafer maker LDK — announced earnings today. While none of the firms made history in their filings, there are some important bits you should note: SunPower, which makes high-efficiency solar panels, saw its revenues gain, its earnings drop, and gave a boosted annual earnings guidance in its second quarter earnings release today. SunPower generated revenues of $384.2 million for the second quarter of 2010, up from $299.3 million from the second quarter of 2009, and saw a net loss of $6.2 million for second quarter ofs 2010, down from an earnings of $14.3 million for the second quarter of 2009. Wall Street was happy, as SunPower boosted the earnings outlook for the year by 10 cents a share to $1.35 to $1.65. SunPower’s stock rose almost 3 percent in after-hour trading. As TheStreet.com put it: “No one was expecting a big quarter from SunPower.” And yep, they pretty much got that. One more interesting tidbit is that SunPower also announced a deal to build a 15 MW solar farm at Luke Airforce Base in Glendale, Ariz., which would sell power to Arizona utility APS. Construction is supposed to start in January and create 550 local jobs. APS also has plans to buy power from solar thermal plants being built in the region, which makes me wonder if SunPower’s solar PV is now cheaper to buy (and quicker to deploy) than the solar thermal tech. LED chip lighting firm Cree saw one of the biggest jumps out of our greentech movers for its fourth quarter earnings announcement today. Cree generated $264.6 million for its fourth quarter of 2010, up from $148.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. Cree earned $52.85 million for the quarter, up significantly from $9.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. The demand for LEDs has started to grow nicely, and Cree is now reaping the benefits of the LED market. However, Cree saw its shares drop over 8 percent in after-hour trading, because of an updated outlook for the next quarter that didn’t meet analyst expectations. Next-gen battery maker A123Systems had the most ‘bummer’ of an earnings statement out of the greentech players today. The company, which is heavily backed by Department of Energy grants, said its second quarter losses grew as it’s looking to ramp up production. The company reported a loss of $34.2 million, down from a loss of $21.9 million from the second quarter of 2009. A123 generated revenues of $22.6 million for the quarter, up slightly from $19.7 million from second quarter 2009. The company’s stock dropped over 4 percent in after-hour trading. Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar also had a particularly strong earnings announcement for its second quarter. LDK said it had a net income of $45 million up dramatically from a loss of $216.9 million from second quarter 2009 (that earnings was handicapped by an inventory writedown), while revenues jumped to $565.3 million from $228.3 million a year earlier. The company’s stock rose 5 percent in after-hour trading. For more cleantech financing check out GigaOM Pro (subscription required):

News Article | June 14, 2012
Site: www.bloomberg.com

Germany’s midsize businesses, long considered the backbone of the country’s economy, for years scorned advances from Chinese companies. Then the global economy slumped and German companies stopped playing hard to get. So far this year, nine German “Mittelstand” companies, typically family-owned with fewer than 500 employees, have agreed to be acquired by Chinese buyers, bringing the total to 21 since the beginning of 2011. China surpassed the U.S. last year to become the largest foreign direct investor in Germany by number of deals. “Many Mittelstand companies ran into problems during the financial crisis,” says Christian von Stetten, a German lawmaker in Berlin who helps oversee a Mittelstand committee. “A Chinese investment can make sense and be a way out of the crisis.” The biggest Chinese takeover came in January when Sany Heavy Industry agreed to buy Putzmeister Holding, Germany’s largest cement-pump maker, for $653 million, including debt. In 2009, Putzmeister’s sales had plunged by half, to €439 million ($549 million), prompting a restructuring and a search for an investor, according to Putzmeister Chief Executive Officer Norbert Scheuch. “Sany was love at first sight,” Scheuch says. Not that long ago, German owners said they feared that Chinese buyers would dismantle their companies and cut or transfer jobs to China. That would have undermined a segment of Germany’s economy that employs 70 percent of the country’s 42 million workers and yields technological know-how in specialized niches such as machine building, solar power, and automotive supply. “There were concerns that, like American companies and some venture capitalists, the Chinese will suck a company dry, take the filet pieces out, and then dissolve it,” says Marc Tenbieg, head of the Deutscher Mittelstands-Bund (DMB), which represents more than 14,000 small and midsize enterprises. Chinese purchasers have focused on distressed companies. In January, LDK Solar (LDK), China’s second-largest solar panel maker, agreed to buy Germany’s Sunways, one of the domestic panel makers struggling to cope with competition from Asia. Less than three months after the Sany transaction, China’s XCMG Group, a maker of construction machinery, agreed to buy Putzmeister’s main domestic competitor, Schwing. In March, Hebei Lingyun Industrial Group agreed to purchase Kiekert, the world’s largest supplier of car latches, which had been taken over by its creditors. Chinese executives are easing German resistance with promises of job security and appeals to national pride. Sany plans to make Aichtal, the southwestern German town where Putzmeister is based, its global headquarters for concrete machinery outside of China. Sany also agreed to keep open all German production sites until 2015 and to avoid layoffs tied to the acquisition through 2020. It will use the German brand in all countries other than China, taking advantage of the “Made in Germany” cachet. Its goal is to boost Putzmeister’s annual sales to €2 billion by 2016, from €570 million in 2011. These assurances seem to have won over the 3,000 employees at Putzmeister, which has built a reputation providing cement-pumping machines used to build the world’s tallest building in Dubai and to deal with the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. “We prefer the Chinese because they have a long-term strategy, whereas Anglo-Saxon private equity firms are all about a quick turnaround,” says Sieghard Bender, a union leader who had organized protests against the takeover. “Sany will do everything to make the Putzmeister deal a success.” The test for the Putzmeister and other takeovers will come if new owners start making management changes, closing factories, or firing workers, says Tenbieg, the Mittelstand representative. “At the moment everything looks rosy,” he says. “Now we have to see whether promises are kept.”

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