27 Mar 2024, 11:51
Julian Wettengel

Meyer Burger seals solar module plant shutdown as German treasury rejects new state support


Swiss photovoltaics manufacturer Meyer Burger has sealed the closure of its solar module plant in eastern German state Saxony, following news that the federal government is unlikely to introduce further state support schemes for solar PV manufacturing, public broadcaster MDR reported . The approximately 500 employees received their notice of termination on 26 March, a spokesperson told MDR. She said the company took the final decision to go through with the planned closure in reaction to reports that German finance minister Christian Lindner and his Free Democrats (FDP) party rejected the introduction of a so-called resilience bonus, which would be paid to customers deciding to buy products made in Germany. The company had still hoped that the government would agree that support was necessary, said the spokeswoman, adding that this hope was dashed by the news.

Meyer Burger had already announced the impending decision in February, citing “grave market distortion” from Chinese competitors and better investment conditions in the U.S. as the main reasons for taking the step. Production has been halted since mid-March. After successful early years for several companies, Germany's solar PV manufacturing industry has suffered an enormous loss in market shares, especially due to competition from China. Although demand for solar power systems is stronger than ever, the supply of cheaper Chinese PV modules has caused prices to fall. Germany plans to triple its solar power capacity by 2030, and the EU is considering introducing quotas for domestic solar technology production in the framework of the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA).

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