Paul van Gerven
6 February

Dutch building-integrated PV company Exasun has filed for insolvency. The firm from The Hague blames the influx of Chinese solar panels on the European market, which caused a 50 percent drop in module prices, along with a standstill in new home construction.

Exasun is one of three Dutch manufacturers of PV panels, the other two being Energyra from Westknollendam and Solarge from Weert. These companies can’t compete on price with their Chinese counterparts and instead focus on quality, sustainability and social responsibility. This strategy last year got the nod in a report by Invest-NL and Roland Berger, which concluded that there are “promising opportunities for the solar manufacturing industry in the Netherlands and Europe.”

Exasun solar
Credit: Exasun

Currently, however, the European solar industry is in survival mode as Chinese panels flood the market. Global supply is exceeding demand and Chinese companies have few other places to turn to after India and the US have introduced import tariffs and regulations. The European Union is mulling support for the ailing industry, though opponents argue that Europe needs cheap panels to attain its lofty climate goals.