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French trade union the CGT has expressed concern over the proposed idling of module production at Bosch’s Vénissieux plant in France for two weeks at the end of October.
In March this year, the site, near Lyon, was dubbed the “largest crystalline silicon module plant in France” with a peak capacity of 150MW producing five different types of mono- and multi-crystalline PV modules daily.
According to the CGT, Bosch officials have blamed production capacity doubling demand as well as the lack of governmental support.
Jean-Marc Auffret, sales director of Bosch Solar Energy stated, “Prices have fallen by 65% since the beginning of 2011. And also we suffer the consequences of declining state aid.”
The CGT has declared that the plant is one of the most important production centres for PV modules in France, employing approximately 200 people.
"In the coming years, many small and medium solar players will disappear; we have to make a concerted effort to help them,” Guy Fischer, senator for Rhone told delegates including, Gérard Collomb, president of Greater Lyon, Jean-Jack Queyranne, president of the regional council and Michèle Picard, mayor of Vénissieux.
“But we have also the certainty that this is the market of the future, and have the conviction to win this battle. Our experience in the automotive industry and industrial technology represents quality assurance,” continued Fischer.
"Specifically, we demand three things,” detailed Auffret to reporters. “Firstly, a larger market, more orders and also product certification and finally, the establishment of a national or European domestic content preference. We believe that the government's plan to grant a bonus of 10% for electricity produced from PV panels built in France is a step in the right direction.”