Today in Cleantech

According to German newspaper reports, there is an offer on the table for Seoul based conglomerate Hanwa to purchase bankrupt German solar cell and module maker Q-Cells. Perhaps most importantly for the workers in the German and Malaysian facilities, reports indicate that Hanwa plans to hang on to the existing production facilities. Six German solar makers have gone under since December and the Korean bailout would be very welcome. In 2008, Q-Cells was the largest solar cell maker in the world, but the tumble happened quickly, owing to the global financial collapse and cutthroat Chinese competition. As lots of cheap assets in solar and battery technology (A123 Systems) remain on the table, it’s not surprising that Chinese and Korean investors are coming in. The commitment to cleantech and renewable energy is strong in both countries, and companies there have lots of experience with taking core technologies, and using efficient processes and a flexible labor force to scale up production at reasonable costs.