LG shuts down solar module manufacturing operations


South Korean electronics giant LG Electronics has confirmed it will close it solar PV module manufacturing operations by the end of June, blaming soaring commodity prices and increased competition for the decision.

“The decision comes as uncertainties in the global solar panel business continue to increase due to a variety of contributing factors, including the intensification of price competition and the rising cost of raw materials,” the company said in a statement.

LG, which last month launched a new range of solar panels for the Australian rooftop market, said it will continue to stand behind its brand and the company will maintain support for customers of existing LG solar panels, however only promises this “for a period of time after the business’s closure”.

The company also said it plans to continue solar panel production through to the end of June 2022 “to maintain adequate inventory for future service support”.

Despite its planned exit of the solar panel manufacturing business, LG said it remains committed to renewables and plans to “leverage its renewable energy expertise to unlock value for its customers”.

“The company will concentrate on growth sectors and plug into a new era of sustainability through rapidly evolving products and solutions including energy storage systems, energy management solutions and other yet-to-be-announced advancements,” it said.

LG’s announcement comes just days after one of Australia’s largest residential and commercial solar PV retailers and installers revealed it will exit the market, blaming low margins and “once-in-a-generation” disruptions to the supply chain brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic for the decision.

Western Australia-headquartered Infinite Energy, which is wholly owned by Japanese industrial giant Sumitomo Corporation, plans to stop selling rooftop PV and battery systems, saying maintaining a successful business model in a highly saturated and rapidly changing market is no longer sustainable.

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