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Bosch Finds Solar Business Unprofitable, Exits 477

New submitter rwise2112 writes "German engineering company Bosch said Friday that it is abandoning its solar energy business, because there is no way to make it economically viable.'We have considered the latest technological advances, cost-reduction potential and strategic alignment, and there have also been talks with potential partners,' Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner said. 'However, none of these possibilities resulted in a solution for the solar energy division that would be economically viable over the long term.'"
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Bosch Finds Solar Business Unprofitable, Exits

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  • Solar is great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bhlowe ( 1803290 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @02:53PM (#43249709)
    I have solar and an electric car. It is an amazing combination. A 10Kw grid-tie system is now about $3/watt installed, and that drops to $2/watt after a 30% tax credit. If most new houses built included a solar panel on the roof, I could see the US becoming energy independent in a decade.
  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @03:04PM (#43249817) Homepage
    Look, in every business, there is going to be a low cost provider, a high quality provider, and a bunch of also rans.

    The low cost provider will ALWAYS make money.

    The High quality provider may or may not make money.

    The also rans usually get eaten up by the low cost provider.

    The fact that your particular company fails in a business is a failure of YOU, not the business. It means you can't compete with the rest of the world.

    When Bosch leaves, it lets everyone else raise their prices just a little bit.

    Maybe that will be enough to make the rest of the corporations profitable. Or maybe some more 'also rans' may have to quit because THEY are losing money.

    But I guarantee you, once enough also rans have left the business, the rest of the people will make money hand over fist.

  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @03:06PM (#43249857) Homepage Journal

    electric cars only suck because our battery technology sucks. But there's nothing in the laws of physics that says you can't make batteries that don't suck.

    (triple negative... yikes)

    Somebody's gonna come up with a new battery that exploits quantum effects and raises energy density by 10x. The world will be theirs.

    Hell, just yesterday I saw a Slashdot article about Lockeed Martin coming up with a new nano-material that decreases water desalinization energy requirement by 100x. We're just scratching the surface when it comes to nano-sized materials and quantum effects (which are related to nano stuff cuz they only happen at very small scales)

  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @03:15PM (#43249975)

    I'm surprised they didn't institute anti-dumping tariffs like they did when Chinese companies start dumping cheap clothing on Europe. Considering the EU's usual tendencies I wonder what are the distinguishing factors here.

  • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @03:20PM (#43250055)

    Why would you not want to let China handle all the pollution and production issues and then sell you the product at less than the cost of the raw materials?

    Just stock up enough of them to give local production time to start up if the freebies stop flowing in.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @03:24PM (#43250117) Journal
    It doesnt have to be a full panacea to useful and viable. Right now im planning on converting my home to full LED lighting with some modest sized panels. After that ill work on putting all my computer and networking gear on the solar system, etc. It doesnt have to be an all or nothing proposal and it doesnt have to fully pencil out to be viable. Powering all my lighting and computers via solar is a damn good start.
  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Friday March 22, 2013 @04:05PM (#43250765)
    It's not dumping. Their cost of production is less than the sale price, so it's not dumping. The PV makers in China are making a profit. We just aren't used to such small margins (expecially when not needed, as pricing 10% below your competition is just as good as pricing at half, but China is actually more capitalistic than the US and doesn't price on "value" but "cost plus" resulting in a much lower price), and yes, the Chinese government is subsidizing the local rare earth mining, but the US is subsidizing resource development as well.

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