Q-Cells cuts 2008 profit forecast amid credit crisis and crashing oil price

A “flood” of cancelled and delayed renewable power projects has led the world’s largest solar panel maker to slash profit forecasts.

German firm Q-Cells is halting production at its manufacturing facility over Christmas to clear stock.

Chief executive Anton Milner said that many alternative energy developers had been unable to finance their projects. A global oil price crash has also rendered the economic case for renewable energy less viable.

Q-Cells cut its sales forecast for 2008 by nearly 10% to €1.2bn (£1.1bn) and its profit forecast by 14% to €185m (£162m).

Yesterday, US solar cell maker Evergreen said it has put an $800m (£540m) Asian factory-building project on hold. The facility would have been able to make enough cells to provide power to 500,000 people.

Analyst New Energy Finance predicted that any stockpiling could lead to lower costs, increasing the competitiveness of solar power generation equipment against oil and gas-based sources of power.