The solar energy business is losing yet another player. German industrial conglomerate Siemens (NYSE:SI) announced on Monday that it is seeking possible buyers for its solar power business.
Siemens is looking to sell its photovoltaic unit and Solel, its solar power plant maker. The two units produce combined annual revenue of $391 million and employ about 680 workers. It has already divested its stake in Archimede, an Italian solar power firm, Reuters noted.
The solar power business has been battered over the last two years as government subsidies dried up and cut-rate products from Chinese manufacturers flooded the market. In Europe, a rising debt crisis and moribund eurozone economy has forced national governments to scale back on ambitious green energy programs.
A number of U.S-based solar power firms have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, including Solyndra, which infamously received $528 million in federal loan guarantees.
Shedding the loss-producing solar units is part of a cost-cutting plan introduced earlier this month by Siemens, which is attempting to boost its profitability compared to global rivals including General Electric (NYSE:GE).
Shares of Siemens rose fractionally in Monday mid-day trading in New York.