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BP exits solar business

According to media reports, the company is finding it tough to "make money" from solar.

The move follows BP Solar's gradual scaling down of its solar business over the past few years.

The UK's Guardian newspaper reported that Mike Petrucci, chief executive of BP Solar, has written to his remaining 100 staff, saying "the continuing global economic challenges have significantly impacted the solar industry, making it difficult to sustain long-term returns for the company."

A spokesman for the wider BP group speaking to the Guardian said the decreasing value worldwide of solar panels – partly as a result of low-cost competition from China – had convinced BP that it had no future in a "commoditised" business.

But the spokesman said BP was fulfilling its previous commitment to spend US$8bn on renewable power up to the year 2015 - and was continuing to "forge ahead" with onshore wind in the U.S., and biofuels worldwide.

BP is the latest company to bemoan the falling price in solar technology, following the bankruptcies of Solyndra and Evergreen, and the legal dispute between a number of U.S. solar manufacturers and the Chinese Government (which has been accused of flooding the U.S. market with cheap panels to drive U.S. companies out of business).

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Bioenergy  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity  •  Wind power

 

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