Photowatt, the leading French photovoltaic panels’ manufacturer, located in Bourgoin-Jallieu (Isère) was placed in receivership, as announced by the financial daily “Les Echos (4/11)”.
The company had already been hit by a social plan in March which affected 119 jobs. The causes of this breakdown came originally from the less expensive Chinese competition and the lack of support for the sector in France. And today, 441 jobs are being threatened in Bourgoin-Jallieu, the only site in French Photowatt.
The government had decreed in December a three-month moratorium on the photovoltaic installations connection. Since then, the representative industry continued to sound the alarm, fearing for jobs in the sector.
A new decree on March 4, had established the principle of gradual reduction in tariffs. Since then, the tariffs fell 25% to 30% depending on the size of the facility. Meanwhile, the number of connection requests fell by 35%.
Exasperated, another player in the sector, the Megawati Energy Company, based in St. Martial de Valette (Dordogne) has assigned the State court. "The set up policy was a trap for the photovoltaic business," said the lawyer for Ms. Collard Megawatt. "They were dragged into this adventure, and tempted, they agreed and invested, and at some point, they were told," it's nice of you, but now we no longer need you".
Basma – Green Energy International Correspondent – 08/11/11