EU carbon prices fell to their lowest ever level on Wednesday - €6.41 ($8.64) as the euro currency and equities slid on renewed fears over Eurogeddon and oil prices slipped after producers promised to maintain high output.
Meantime, Solon SE, the Berlin-based solar panel builder, filed for insolvency after failing to reach an “amicable solution” with banks and investors. It is likely to be followed by several others, both in Germany and elsewhere as the demand for panels softens as subsidies are removed, reduces or revamped. Even a decision by the German government earlier this year to phase out nuclear energy has done little to reignite the sector.
We have already seen bankruptcy filings in the United States, most notably panel maker Solyndra LLC and Evergreen Solar. Conergy and Q-Cells were among the German solar companies most exposed to the sector’s crisis. Q-Cells, once the world’s largest maker of solar cells, is now struggling to meet refinancing needs and took steps earlier this year that may delay its convertible bond that is due in February 2012. Conergy was rescued late last year after agreeing a debt-for-equity swap in December which would give control to hedge funds Sothic Capital and York.
More evidence of peak renewables – see my earlier posts.