Panasonic has announced it will close down its sole solar module plant in Europe, with the loss of 500 jobs in Hungary. It represented around 20-30% of Panasonic’s output, and the equipment will be transferred to its remaining plants in Japan and Malaysia. Demand in Europe has been falling away since the end of state subsidies for solar energy, and there is tough competition from Chinese suppliers.
The plant was originally owned by Sanyo, and transferred to Panasonic when Panasonic took over Sanyo in 2009. The plant had been built with around 3 million euros of Hungarian government and EU subsidies in 2005.
I wonder how much longer Sharp is going to continue with its solar cell factory in Poland…
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