Austin (TX) - The recession is looming over the once booming solar manufacturing industry. HelioVolt, headquartered in Austin, is a thin-film solar manufacturer that is currently being forced to cut jobs. They are not alone as OptiSolar a solar-panel plant in Sacramento is being forced to lay off half of its staff.
This news comes following Evergreen Solar's announcement that it would be closing its pilot plant located in Massachusetts in an attempt to save cash. They will be charged $25 million for writing off equipment. The employees at this plant will be transferred to another Massachusetts location that is currently in the process of expansion.
As the economy gets pummeled, other green tech companies are going to find themselves struggling as well.
There is one thing that can be said for high fuel prices, it does drive innovation and funding for alternative sources of energy. Once that money is pulled away, however, not so much. Add to that an overall weakened economy and results like these are to be expected. It's a perfect storm operating against the alternative energy industries.