Dec 17, 2013 - French solar energy firm Solaire Direct is set to cut nearly 40% of its workforce in France, daily Les Echos said today.
The company has launched a restructuring plan which will concern 60 workers, out of 160, in the activities of construction and development of solar farms, based in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, and Paris.
Other activities, such as engineering and financing, will not be affected and international operations will be developed with planned hiring of about 50 people for activities in Chile, India and South Africa.
The policy adopted in France has led to a drop in solar power installations, the company's founder Thierry Lepercq said. According to the national solar energy monitoring agency, the connections to the grid totalled 500 MW in the last 12 months, the lowest level since 2009.
Overall solar energy production in France stood at 3.7 GW at the end of June 2013, against 34.2 GW in Germany.
Furthermore, the sector has lost 15,000 jobs in two years.
Tariffs are too low and tenders insufficient, despite the fact that solar energy is becoming increasingly competitive, Lepercq said.
Solaire Direct, which employs a total 250, sees revenues of EUR 170 million (USD 234.03m) in 2013, up 30% on the year.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.377)
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