|Table of Contents|
|Intro and Overview|
|Trends and Forces|
|Key Trends and Forces|
|Competition and Market Share|
Evergreen Solar is a vertically integrated solar panel manufacturer that uses String Ribbon technology to produce solar cells with 50% less silicon than is needed by its competition. Growth in solar panel efficiency from less than 10% before 1980 to more than 40% in 2009.
Within the solar industry, Evergreen Solar competes on the basis of cost-minimizing the cost of buying a solar system by lowering manufacturing costs, and minimizing the cost of running a system by increasing the conversion efficiency of its cells. During the end of 2009 the cost per wafer was $0.69 and the price for a panel had fallen to $2.05 in the fourth quarter from $3.19 in the first quarter of 2009. Looking forward to 2011 with the opening of its facility in Jiawei, China which is expected to be able to produce 25-30 MW, with prices at $0.40 as the cost for a wafer for a watt, and $1.25 for a panel, due to China's lower labor costs. However, with the lower costs comes a solar market that has been depressed due to the recession with prices having fallen precipitously. The solar sector is becoming more and more competitive; among ESLR's competition are such powerhouses as SunPower, SunTech, BP Solar, Sharp, Kyocera, and Q-Cells.
Government incentives and grants are extremely important to promoting solar panels. In February 2010, Senator Bernie Sanders submitted a bill to congress titled "10 Million Solar Roofs and 10 Million Gallons of Solar Hot Water Act." The bill would cover half the cost of new systems. The purpose of the bill is to spur alternative energy growth and create green jobs. The generous rebates would further cut the price of solar panels for consumers, and most likely increase sales.
Evergreen Solar is a vertically integrated company that operates through four stages of the solar power industry. The company produces multicrystalline ribbon silicon wafers from refined silicon. Evergreen's string ribbon PV technology lets the company form photovoltaic wafers with less silicon than the mono- and multicrystalline wafers made by other solar manufacturers - almost making them silicon versions of thin film. These wafers are then made into photovoltaic (PV) cells, that turn light energy (usually from the sun) into electricity. Evergreen's PV cells are put together into modules, which generate up to 190 watts of power. Finally, Evergreen takes these modules and wires them together into solar power systems, which can generate thousands of watts of electricity. The company sells to installers in Europe, North America and Korea.
Fiscal Year 2010 Summary
In 2010, Evergreen Solar earned product revenues of $334.4 million, up 25% from the previous year, primarily due to increases in sales volume despite lower selling prices arising from pricing pressures in the marketplace. In total, 164.5 MW was shipped during the year, a 58% increase from the previous year. However, with the close of Evergreen's Devens manufacturing facility, revenue for 2011 is expected to decrease, as revenues will only be generated from production from their 75 MW Wuhan, China facility.
Sovello is a German solar company that produces 30 megawatts of power per year and has a stated goal of increasing production to 300 megawatts by 2010. In 2007 Evergreen reduced its ownership from two thirds to one third. Per accounting rules it is no longer consolidated on Evergreen's financial statements. In October 2007 Evergreen announced a plan for Sovello's IPO. In December of 2008 Evergreen re-affirmed it's intention for Sovello to have an IPO, at which point the company would generate much needed capital but lose primary access to the fast-growing German solar market.(Read More about Evergreen Solar's Key Trends and Forces...)