This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Bosch Chairman says US shale gas is killing off green technologies

09 April 2013

Bosch Chairman Franz Fehrenbach said in a recent edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the decline in energy prices caused by the glut in US shale gas production was wiping out European manufacturers of alternative technologies, particular solar and photovoltaic manufacturers.

The Stuttgart-based company recently decided to discontinue its photovoltaic solar energy activities at the cost of roughly 3,000 jobs - due largely, but not entirely, to a glut in capacity built up in China.

"Photovoltaic is going through a unique transition. But you cannot entirely dismiss that the use of energy-efficient technologies came under pressure through fracking in the United States," he said.

"The longer availability of fossil fuels naturally has an effect on the (economic) calculation of resource-friendly technologies," he explained.

According to Fehrenbach, last year's 60 gigawatt supply of solar modules around the world was double the amount of global demand, triggering a 40% price drop that pushed all manufacturers of photovoltaic systems heavily into the red.

"After this destructive phase there won't likely be a crystalline photovoltaic manufacturer left in Europe that is competitive," the Bosch chairman added.

After first entering the market in 2008 Bosch decided last week to pull out of the solar energy business - an unusual strategic reversal for the company. The business generated a loss of 1 billion euros ($1.28 billion) in 2012 and its value was written down to zero.

Print this page | E-mail this page