LG is shuttering its solar panel business, impacting over 200 US workers

midian182

Posts: 7,887   +81
Staff member
What just happened? LG has waved goodbye to another part of its business. After it shuttered its long-running smartphone arm last year, the Korean giant is now exiting the solar panel market, blaming the increasing cost of materials and logistics along with severe supply constraints.

LG started its solar panel business in 2010 with an emphasis on higher-efficiency premium modules, reports the Korean Herald, but competition with Chinese rivals and their lower prices has seen profits dwindle. Sales have declined from 1.1 trillion won ($922 million) in 2019 to 800 billion won in 2020 as its global market share hovered around 1% for years.

The decision to stop producing solar panels followed a board meeting yesterday. Production will start to wind down next month, and LG will stop making panels and modules by June 30.

Shuttering LG’s solar panel business will impact 160 employees and 60 contract workers at its corporate campus in Huntsville, Alabama, where the company has been assembling panels since 2018. The staff are expected to be reassigned elsewhere or let go. In South Korea, 900 employees will be relocated to other business divisions.

For LG’s solar panel customers in the US, it promises to support them “for years to come” and will honor any limited warranties on products.

“While exiting the solar panel business, LG is concentrating on products and services that can have an even greater impact,” said Thomas Yoon, president and CEO of LG Electronics North America. “Sustainability is a core business principle at LG Electronics, and we are constantly evaluating the ways in which LG can unlock potential, create greater value and support our vision for a better life for all.”

After six years of losing money, LG decided to close its mobile unit in April last year. The company had been the third-largest phone maker in 2013, but its market share had fallen to around 2% at the time of the shuttering.

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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,364   +5,589
It's pretty bad when you cant make money selling solar panels under an administration that is full steam ahead on "green" energy.

LG has been horribly mismanaged into the ground. How mayn mroe years until a smsung buyout?
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 761   +1,020
It's pretty bad when you cant make money selling solar panels under an administration that is full steam ahead on "green" energy.

LG has been horribly mismanaged into the ground. How mayn mroe years until a smsung buyout?
the high tarrifs came from the previous administration (the one that started an insurrection at the capital) on solar panels. I should know, we import them.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,204   +4,242
the high tarrifs came from the previous administration (the one that started an insurrection at the capital) on solar panels. I should know, we import them.

I'm sure they did but why hasn't the *current* administration immediately removed them and switched them over for an incentive to boost solar panel adoption via imports?

You know, at least pretend they're actually doing anything at all towards those Paris agreement?
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 761   +1,020
I'm sure they did but why hasn't the *current* administration immediately removed them and switched them over for an incentive to boost solar panel adoption via imports?

You know, at least pretend they're actually doing anything at all towards those Paris agreement?
It's an excellent question and I don't have an exact answer for you (I'm not defending the current administration either). All I can state is the facts, the high tariffs were placed on "Chinese manufacturers" so those manufactures merely moved "final production" to Thailand, Vietnam, etc., to avoid those tarrifs (hardly the only industry that does this). A lot of these "high tariffs" against "Gina" were mere publicity as costs are passed on to the consumer or final production is moved to another country and those costs are passed onto the consumer.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,204   +4,242
It's an excellent question and I don't have an exact answer for you (I'm not defending the current administration either). All I can state is the facts, the high tariffs were placed on "Chinese manufacturers" so those manufactures merely moved "final production" to Thailand, Vietnam, etc., to avoid those tarrifs (hardly the only industry that does this). A lot of these "high tariffs" against "Gina" were mere publicity as costs are passed on to the consumer or final production is moved to another country and those costs are passed onto the consumer.
That's kind of the point I was going for: it's basically impossible to revert climate change trends in time to avoid catastrophe if the capitalist countries that pretend to claim they can save us with market solutions with things like the Paris Agreement, don't actually have the political will to revert anti-competitive tariffs and restrictions to commerce because they're far more interested in their political posturing than they are on just use whatever the cheapest and most plentiful panels the world can produce to revert trends which yes: That would be China today.

Even within the context of a flawed solution which is market solutions within Capitalism, they're already failing by not reverting those policies and tariffs.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,434   +2,409
Tesla isn't doing much better. A lot of customer complaints out there, that they got 30min episodes on TV and YouTube about it.

Solar doesn't appear to be easy to implement and maintain right now. How many people even knew LG made solar panels, right? It's still reletively new tech and it's hard to do.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,364   +5,589
the high tarrifs came from the previous administration (the one that started an insurrection at the capital) on solar panels. I should know, we import them.
I know that Orange Man Bad is your way of life, but perhaps stop the fart huffing for 30 seconds:

"Shuttering LG’s solar panel business will impact 160 employees and 60 contract workers at its corporate campus in Huntsville, Alabama, where the company has been assembling panels since 2018"

Alabama isn't in China. Before being made in alabama, they were made in Korea. Not china.

Believe it or not, there is an entire world outside of trump, and only those who mesmerize him keep bringing him up in topics that don't pertain to him.

If anything, he HELPED LG, the tariffs would have made LG panels more competitive.
That's what happens when you have zero customer awareness. They don't care about any of the Chinese issues, they just want lower prices.
No you can't just pass a tariff on heavily polluting Chinese industries. Not my hecking solarinos!
 

Bill A

Posts: 24   +14
That's unfortunate, LG solar panels are one of the best qualities compared to other brands with a wide range of options and a 25 year warranty.
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,037   +1,187
Solar panels are little more than a "feel good" thing. The costs cannot be justified. I looked into them several times but a payback time of 20+ years makes no sense. Add in the maintenance over that 20 years and it's dead IMO.
 

BadThad

Posts: 1,037   +1,187
That's kind of the point I was going for: it's basically impossible to revert climate change trends in time to avoid catastrophe if the capitalist countries that pretend to claim they can save us with market solutions with things like the Paris Agreement, don't actually have the political will to revert anti-competitive tariffs and restrictions to commerce because they're far more interested in their political posturing than they are on just use whatever the cheapest and most plentiful panels the world can produce to revert trends which yes: That would be China today.

Even within the context of a flawed solution which is market solutions within Capitalism, they're already failing by not reverting those policies and tariffs.

You buy into the manmade climate lies hook, line and sinker! The Paris agreement is nothing more than a scam to steal money and give it to bureaucrats. The earth has been here for billions of years and has been ever changing since. We collect data accurately for a mere 100 years and claim to know what's going on? That's 0.000002% of the earth's life! The only thing going on is the lies we're getting from the pointy heads that make a living off "climate change".
 

dirtyferret

Posts: 761   +1,020
We collect data accurately for a mere 100 years and claim to know what's going on?
If only there was there was a scientific field of study for ancient climate so that we could have scientists that would not be limited to 100 years of climate data...but until that futuristic day comes we can only dream, and hope our cargo ships don't fall off the edge of the world, or that Bill Gates finally takes out those Chinese micro-chips out of our vaccines.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 2,146   +2,586
TechSpot Elite
If only there was there was a scientific field of study for ancient climate so that we could have scientists that would not be limited to 100 years of climate data...but until that futuristic day comes we can only dream, and hope our cargo ships don't fall off the edge of the world, or that Bill Gates finally takes out those Chinese micro-chips out of our vaccines.

Meh, don't waste your time. Some people have already made up their minds and because they can't imagine how to figure out things, they assume that nobody can, and it makes them feel good. How can you convince anyone of a nuanced argument when they only see the extremes of 1 or 0?
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,204   +4,242
Meh, don't waste your time. Some people have already made up their minds and because they can't imagine how to figure out things, they assume that nobody can, and it makes them feel good. How can you convince anyone of a nuanced argument when they only see the extremes of 1 or 0?
It's not just about personal responsibility and people who "can't imagine how to figure out things"

If you want to know why do so many people even know about those climate change denial talking points, look into pieces of garbage like the Koch brothers: Oil billionaires who not only lobby politicians but spend mountains of money funding right wing pundits on radio, tv, youtube, etc. To talk about their climate change denial talking points, just so they can get even more filthy rich.

That is who you should worry about, not random persons on a tech forum that are just recycling the same misinformation they've been carefully fed by the oil industry.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,212   +1,105
Wow, what a serious joke. Almost put LG panels on my roof, but they were too dear compared to some of the really excellent Chinese panels that had more features. They are a great panel, but just too expensive in 2022.