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SolarWorld AG targets United States market

SolarWorld AG could stand to be one of the biggest winners as a result of President Obama’s pledge to heavily invest in the renewable energy sector in the United States.

The company is one of the few German companies to remain relatively unscathed by the financial crisis so far and analysts believe the United States could be one of the Company’s key growth markets moving forward.


“The fact that SolarWorld is the only listed German solar company with fully-owned production facilities in the United States could soon be a major advantage given the expected photovoltaic (PV) demand boom triggered by the economic stimulus program signed by president Obama,” Merck Finck analyst Theo Kitz wrote.

Because SolarWorld AG is active in several areas of the solar value chain, from production of wafers to cells and modules. It can therefore off-set the impact of massive price falls for cells, which some analysts have said could be as much as 20 percent in 2009.

This, of course, comes as no surprise to astute followers of the SolarWorld story. The coming is coming off of record financial results in 2008. Many analysts believe that the picture could continue to get even rosier for SolarWorld in the coming years.

With margins expected to further fall in Europe in the future, the expansion of it’s production in the United States would make a lot of sense for SolarWorld, analysts said. On Thursday, the company said it is hiking its capacity at its Hillsboro, Oregon cells and wafers plant to 500 megawatts by 2011 from 100 megawatts now.

Chief Executive Frank Asbeck told journalists on Thursday that the United States could account for 12-15 percent of sales in 2009. Based on the company’s 2009 sales target of around 1 billion euros, this would amount to $160 million to $200 million.