Last solar panel manufacturer in Australia, Silex Solar, stops making cells
9:22pm 17th August 2011
The last, of only ever two, solar panel cell manufacturers stops making cells in Australia..
The sun sets on Silex Solar AU Cells..
According to this report
:"Silex Solar has announced it will stop making the cells at its western Sydney facility, with 30 jobs to be lost.
The company will continue to make solar panels, using imported components.
Silex has blamed a "very tough market" for the decision, but the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union is pointing the finger at the New South Wales Government.
Union state secretary Tim Ayres says the Government's decision to cut the state's Solar Bonus Scheme is a major factor."
Now call me old fashioned, but you are not running a viable business in the first place if you have to depend on the government for handouts to keep your financial head above water. In this case the handouts have been in the form of Solar Bonuses given out by the government for buying solar.
The real sad thing here is that the government could instead have done direct R&D investment, but unless you are really careful you could end up with what happened with the other solar panel cell manufacturer - who upped ship and moved to the US, citing difficulties selling into the international market from Australia.
Basically, this is the problem the government faces at the core with all this green spending; the domestic market isn't big enough to justify R&D expenditure required to compete internationally - and even if you do come up with something world beating - you then have to ship it half way round the world to get to those markets before you can even sell one thing! Australia is not the place to manufacturing goods that are part of a global highly competitive and protective market.