Solar Manufacturer Slashes 1/3 Of Workforce

To save costs, the top solar manufacturer in the world has downsized its workforce by over 30%. Workers were even told to only make copies on the copier in black and white so the company could save money.

These steps, alas, were insufficient to meet their goal.

The renewable energy sector is understandably worried about this “canary in the coal mine” moment. Are there other solar energy companies to follow?

The Chinese firm Longi intends to lay off as many as a third of its employees.

The internal tool that showed the overall number of workers at the company seems to have been deactivated. The public doesn’t know the precise number of jobs lost at the organization. An all-time high of 80,000 people worked for the firm last year.

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, the renewable energy sector is facing significant difficulties. The rapid expansion in domestic power generation and subsequent shift to renewable energy sources was prompted by governments in response to the decline in gas supplies from Moscow to continental Europe.

However, with energy costs rising, inflation rates rose as well, putting even more strain on renewable supply chains that were already struggling to meet demand. However, the oil and gas industry is no longer prioritizing environmentally friendly initiatives in favor of the more conventional, high-margin fossil fuel ones.

As a result, renewable energy businesses have been cutting jobs and postponing projects until their portfolios are more stable. Government policies have often affected the industry’s ups and downs.

Numerous new solar power plants have recently opened in China, making the country a key player in the global solar supply manufacturing industry. This has led to very cutthroat rivalry in the industry.

One component of solar panels is the wafers that Longi manufactures. Company officials in Xi’an, a city in central China, have announced price cuts and a halt to investment plans.

Before laying off workers, complimentary afternoon tea was no longer provided, and business trip budgets were cut. There have been rumors that Longi’s Shanghai headquarters no longer offers free coffee.

In the third quarter of 2023, the solar company’s net income dropped 44% to 2.52bn yuan (£275m), marking a steep dip from the previous year. Since getting as high as they did in 2021, the company’s shares have fallen by over 70%.