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SolarWorld AG
Traded as FWBSWV
Industry Photovoltaics
Founded 1988
Headquarters Bonn, Germany
Key people
Frank H. Asbeck (founder and CEO), Georg Gansen (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Solar cells, wafers,
PV modules and systems
Revenue €1.305 billion (2010)[1]
€192.8 million (2010)[1]
Profit €87.3 million (2010)[1]
Total assets €2.635 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity €922.9 million (end 2010)[1]
Number of employees
3,200 (October 2014)[1]
Subsidiaries SolarWorld Innovations GmbH
SolarWorld Industries Sachsen GmbH

SolarWorld is a German company dedicated to the manufacture and marketing photovoltaic products worldwide by integrating all components of the solar value chain, from feedstock (polysilicon) to module production, from trade with solar panels to the promotion and construction of turn-key solar power systems. The group controls the development of solar power technologies at all levels in-house.

SolarWorld AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange,[2] the Photovoltaik Global 30 Index and the ÖkoDAX.


SolarWorld was founded in 1988 as individual company by engineer and chief executive officer Frank Asbeck,[3] and engaged in projects to produce renewable energy.[4] In 1998, these activities were transferred to the newly founded SolarWorld AG, which went public on 11 August 1999.[4]

Shell divested its crystalline silicon solar business activities to SolarWorld.[5]

SolarWorld has received German Sustainability Award in the category of "Germany’s Most Sustainable Production 2008".[6]


Within the SolarWorld Group many specialized workers are employed in the enterprise's units located in Bonn (headquarters), Freiberg, Arnstadt, Germany, and Hillsboro, Oregon (US headquarters).

The business also has a facility in Hillsboro, Oregon. The newer Hillsboro factory was purchased in 2007 from Japan's Komatsu Group.[7] It is the largest solar cell manufacturing facility in North America.[8]

Corporate headquarters in Bonn, Germany

SolarWorld AG has sales offices in Germany, Spain, USA, South Africa, UK and Singapore.

Grid parity[edit]

Main article: Grid parity

In 2010, SolarWorld called for lowering Germany's lucrative solar feed-in tariffs and its CEO, Frank Asbeck, supported a 10 percent to 15 percent drop for the incentives. In 2011, utility-scale solar power stations achieved grid parity for domestic consumers as guaranteed tariffs fell below retail electricity prices. Feed-in tariffs continued to drop well below the gross domestic electricity price. Since the beginning of 2012, newly installed, small rooftop PV system also have achieved grid parity.[9]:11 The current policy is to revise tariffs on a monthly basis reducing them by 1 percent unless actual deployment does not meet agreed upon targets. As of spring 2015, tariffs ranged from 8 to 12 euro-cents per kilowatt-hour depending on the PV system's size.[10]


SolarWorld is the main sponsor of the SolarWorld No. 1 solar car developed by the FH Bochum SolarCar Team.[11]

On 19 November 2008, SolarWorld AG announced a bid to buy German automaker Opel from General Motors.[12] The bid was for 1 billion Euro, 250 million being paid in cash and 750 million being paid in bank credits. SolarWorld specified conditions such as Opel should be split from General Motors.[13] Solarworld announced that it intends to create the first electric automotive OEM. However, GM rejected the bid saying "Opel is not for sale".[14]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]