The development of environmentally conscious materials has taken its share of the manufacturing business over recent years. With the push for everyone to “go green”, many new companies have been springing up around the country. These businesses make products that reduce carbon emissions, reduce our dependence on traditional energy sources and are less toxic to the environment.
One increasingly popular trend is the demand for solar power. The average home can generate enough electricity to power itself for 24 hours, off of a solar panel set around the size of 200 square feet; that is only small portion of the roof space. However, despite the obvious savings in electricity bills, purchasing such products can be expensive. Although the technology for energy reducing products is available, many companies have not been lucrative enough to sustain themselves in the market.
Solar Companies Struggling
Competition from China for cheap manufacturing has pushed Evergreen Solar into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. American manufacturing has struggled for years to hold onto some piece of the manufacturing business. The company’s chief executive officer, Michael El-Hillow said, “The solar power market is intensely competitive and rapidly evolving.” The fact is that companies just can’t keep up with the cheap labor, reduced costs and government backed financial support offered by China’s manufacturing industry.
Evergreen Solar has been working on a plan to manage its debts outside of bankruptcy for the last few quarters. Much of these financial cutbacks included layoffs at American based manufacturing plants. The company is now planning to permanently close the plant in Midland, Michigan. Residents of Midland are disappointed by the news, as they voted to allow the company to build the plant back in 2008. The hope was that the new plant would bring jobs and stimulate the economy. Now that Chapter 11 is in the works, residents can only hope that the plant will be able to reorganize debt and reopen under new ownership.