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Planet Ark World Environment News SolarWorld Sees Soaring Demand In 2010

Date: 26-Mar-10
Country: GERMANY
Author: Christoph Steitz

SolarWorld Sees Soaring Demand In 2010 Photo: Hannibal Hanschke
The logo of SolarWorld AG is pictured at the reception in a plant in Freiberg near Dresden December 17, 2008.
Photo: Hannibal Hanschke

SolarWorld, Germany's No.1 solar company, joined peers in making bullish statements about growth in its domestic market but cautioned that next year would entirely depend on the effect of solar subsidy cuts.

"We expect volumes in the German solar market to be about 5 gigawatts this year," Chief Executive Frank Asbeck told reporters at the company's annual news conference on Thursday, signaling massive growth after an expected 3 gigawatts for 2009.

"But growth in 2011 will entirely depend on the impact of the changes of the German renewable law," he added, declining further comment.

Asbeck's statement came a day after Q-Cells the world's fourth-largest maker of solar cells, said demand in Germany would be strong this year. However, it also warned that demand could collapse next year as solar subsidy cuts will be cut further after large one-off reductions planned for this year.

Despite looming cuts in solar incentives in Germany -- the world's biggest market for the sector's products -- and an industry crisis caused by overcapacity, SolarWorld is still one of the few profitable players in the industry, even proposing a higher dividend for 2009.

The company last month released full-year 2009 figures and disappointing markets by giving a weak outlook.

EBIT for 2009 came in at 152 million euros, mainly because it was able to escape A margin squeeze that has hit pure cell or module producers such as Q-Cells and Solon by also manufacturing other components.

(Editing by David Holmes)

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