Solar Shakeout: Gehrlicher files insolvency papers

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Gehrlicher Solar has become the latest German firm to file for insolvency according to court papers lodged on Friday seen by PV-Tech.

It began proceedings on the same day as fellow manufacturing and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Conergy announced it had filed for insolvency.

Gehrlicher Solar were contacted by PV-Tech but have so far been unavailable for comment.

Gehrlicher Solar is thought to employ 250 people in Germany and had a turnover in 2011 of US$415 million (€323 million). Gehrlicher Solar was the 22nd largest EPC in 2012 according to IHS Research published in March.

Sister company Gehrlicher Solar Management holds 25 funds for investment in solar energy.

US subsidiary Gehrlicher Solar America recorded a 400% growth in revenue in 2012 with sales totalling US$74.1 million.

Its Brazilian subsidiary recently completed the installation of a PV system on a football stadium in Bahia.

Challenging conditions in Europe are squeezing EPC firms, with many looking to exploit emerging, overseas markets.

Domestic competitors in the US, Asia and Latin America have also joined a market that was previously dominated by European firms.

European companies formed seven of the top ten EPC companies in 2010 but this figure has now fallen to just four, according to IHS.

The 30 largest operators in the world make up just 26% of the global market.

“Despite all of the dramatic change in the EPC landscape in 2012, one thing remains constant: the industry remains incredibly fragmented,” said Ash Sharma, senior director of solar research at IHS Research.

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