Consumer electronics and home appliances giant LG Electronics announced today a decision to close its solar panel business, citing a variety of factors ranging from growing price competition, raw materials cost increases and supply chain challenges.
LG’s solar power business form’s part of its Business Solutions segment, which also produces products including monitors, PCs and information displays. Operating profit margins for the unit have been declining over the past few quarters, turning negative in the most recent 2 quarters, with LG pointing to sluggish performance in the solar module business along with higher component prices and logistics expenses. On a recent conference call, LG stated that the price of key raw material polysilicon had increased fourfold year-over-year.
LG has been active in the solar space for decades, beginning with the sale of its first portable solar cell technology in 1988, and producing its first solar panels in 2008.
Going forward, LG plans to reorganize the Business Solutions segment around the key pillars of Information Technology and Information display, while in the renewable energy space, the company will focus on growth areas such as energy storage and energy management solutions.
Thomas Yoon, President and CEO, LG Electronics North America, said:
“While exiting the solar panel business, LG is concentrating on products and services that can have an even greater impact. 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.”