LG exits solar module business.
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The South Korean manufacturer announced it would shut down its solar module business by the end of June. The company blamed the decision on uncertainty in the global solar industry.
The South Korean electronics maker has announced it will shut down its solar panel business by the end of June.
“The decision is made as uncertainty continues to increase in the global solar module business due to a combination of factors including increased price, competition and rising raw material costs,” the company said in a statement. “LG will continue to support its brands, the companies existing LG solar panel customers will be supported for a period after the closure is complete. Production of the solar panels themselves will continue through the second quarter of this year to maintain sufficient inventory for future service support.”
According to the company, the employees working at the Solar Panel unit, which is part of the company’s Business Solutions division, will be offered transition support and severance packages commensurate with their tenure with the company.
In its latest financial results, the company reported a slight increase in revenue for the Business Solutions division despite the “sluggish performance” of its solar module business.
In 2004, the LG Group of companies prepared for the mass production of solar modules by integrating several solar research laboratories under LG Electronics. With decades of Research and Development experience, LG Electronics quickly laid the groundwork for its first solar cell and module factory.
The company did see the solar business as a strategic growth area for the Group. The first major success of the solar sector came in 2008 when a 14 Megawatt solar power plant was built and operated in Taean, South Korea. LG was also responsible for supplying wafers for the project through its subsidiary LG Siltron. Until today, their solar installations were at the forefront of solar module product development, whether for residential or commercial use.
LG – A brief history
1958 Founded as GoldStar
1985 GoldStar Electronics conducts its first solar cell multicrystalline research
1988 GoldStar Industrial Systems develops its portable solar cell technology called “Solar Lantern”
1989 GoldStar Central R&D Lab develop their solar cell manufacturing technology
1989 GoldStar Industrial Systems establishes photovoltaic power plants
1992 GoldStar Electronics manufactures heaters and panels operating on naturally circulating solar heat
1995 LG Industrial Systems sets up PV traffic signs and establishes PV clock towers
1998 LG Industrial Systems ( LG IS) installs PV streetlights as in Incheon parks, Korea
1999 LG IS installs PV systems at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
2005 LG Chemical conducts R&D on its polycrystalline solar cell
2007 LG Solar Energy operates its first 14MW solar farm in Taean, Korea
2008 The Solar Cell Research Team at the Chemical Division integrates with the Electronics Division
2009 The company constructs PV cell and module factories in Gumi, Korea
2009 LG Electronics Solar Test Lab is certified by TÜV and UL
2009 The companies solar panel mass production begins
2013 The companies NeON 300 Watt solar panel wins the Inter Solar Photovoltaic Award in Munich, Germany
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