The restructuring performed by the multinational, BP, in response to the challenges faced by the solar sector has not been enough, and the British company has decided to abandon solar energy. This is the message transmitted in a recent internal email sent by BP to its employees, to which Renewable Energy Magazine’s sister publication, Energías Renovables, has had access.
In the internal communiqué, BP said “we have made the difficult decision to exit the business”; referring to its solar business. The company described the decision as very difficult after “a near 40 year commitment to solar energy”. The message to employees explained that the major global solar markets had experienced tremendous change over the past few years and acknowledged that the company has unable to generate the necessary margins from its solar business.
BP informed its staff that over the next few months it would complete key projects currently in development and take the steps necessary to transfer its obligations and certain assets. The company also said that it regretted the effect this decision would have on approximately 100 employees, and said that it would offer severance benefits and outplacement services to help them.
BP was keen to point out in the communiqué that despite withdrawing from the solar sector, it would remain committed to growing its alternative energy business, citing the fact that it acquired the Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer, Companhia Nacional de Açúcar e Álcool (CNAA), and increased its share in the Brazilian biofuels company, Tropical BioEnergia S.A., to 100% this year.
The company went on to say that it had already installed three new wind farms in the US, and invested more in 2011 than in any previous year since the Alternative Energy unit’s formation in 2005.