The world’s biggest photovoltaic inverter manufacturer has announced that it is to cut over 1,000 jobs as subsidy cuts in Europe continue to impact on the solar industry.

SMA Solar Technology will reduce its workforce by 450 and terminate 600 temporary workers. Overall, it predicts a “significant” drop in sales due to a “steep” market downturn and growing price pressures, according to PV magazine online.

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Sales are expected to be further hit due to weakened solar support and the company forecasts plummeting sales in 2013 of up to $1.69bn, compared to the predicted potential $1.95bn expected to be achieved this year.

“The growth impulses of the non-European photovoltaic markets are not sufficient to compensate for the expected decrease in European demand,” stated Pierre-Pascal Urbon, speaker of SMA’s Managing Board.

In a statement, SMA has said it will not cut any jobs in its development business, and plans to invest over $130m in R&D in the next year.

It added that self-consumption will become a key market segment in Europe and America, adding that opportunities exist for the development of power plants in the world’s sunnier regions, and for solar-diesel-hybrid solutions.

Mr Urban expressed the hope of a return to profitability in 2014, if production costs are reduced.

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