The Germany-based manufacturing arm of Global Solar Energy - Global Solar Energy Deutschland - has applied for insolvency proceedings.
Headquartered in Arizona, Global Solar makes flexible copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) PV cells and modules products and will carry out all production at its 40 MWp-capacity Tucson factory - enough to meet demand.
In Europe over supply, plummeting prices for crystalline silicon PV modules and reductions in feed-in tariffs (FIT) for PV modules and building-integrated PV (BIPV) products have all contributed to the contraction within the industry, especially the thin film PV segment.
In the US, Global Solar has been able to secure contracts for its flexible lightweight modules with the US defence industry, to replace diesel for off-grid power generation, and by supplying Dow Chemical for its solar roofing tile system. Launched in October 2011 in Colorado, Dow has expanded the availability of its Powerhouse BIPV product to Texas and California, which like Colorado have some good solar incentives.
Global Solar will continue to meet all of its warranty obligations and service European customers, but from the Tucson factory.
The company is also continuing with its efforts to pursue new investor participation, being led by FTI Capital Advisors, a subsidiary of FTI Consulting. However, in the current PV industry downturn, investors are skittish about backing thin-film and similar PV technologies, having seen so many go to the wall in the past 10 months, including Solyndra, Energy Conversion Devices, Evergreen Solar, Konarka and Novasolar.
Thin film PV once promised low cost production before prices of polysilicon - the raw material used to make PV cells in crystalline silicon PV panels - went through the floor and Chinese companies, many subsidised by the government, ramped up production to capitalise from several generous FIT programmes that were unveiled throughout Europe at the time.
Enjoyed reading this article? For even more high-value content on the plastic electronics industry, subscribe to +Plastic Electronics magazine.
Documents and links
Developer of thin film solar panels
Subscribe to +Plastic Electronics magazine
Subscribe to +Plastic Electronics magazine, published six times a year, for just £100/€110/$160. Find out more here