Going against the trend set by Google Inc, Warren Buffett and Total SA (FP) of investing in the industry as competition drove the cost of sun-based power downwards, BP Plc says it would exit its solar business in the next 40 years.
The second-largest of Europe's oil companies says it would shut the unit down over several months as it had become unprofitable, according to BP Solar chief executive officer, Mike Petrucci who wrote to staff in an internal letter last week.
Around 100 employees would be impacted by the decision.
BP Solar is opting out of an industry faced with oversupply and price pressures with Chinese competitors stepping up production.
According to analysts the oil major's move is contrary to the trend.
Total, Europe's third-biggest oil company, Buffett and Google have entered the industry with investments over the last six months to make the best of attractive tax breaks, declining costs and a source of power hedged against high fossil-fuel prices.
Meanwhile, BP continues to operate its solar equipment venture in India with Tata Power Co as usual, Bloomberg reported quoting K Subramanya, chief executive of Tata BP Solar India Ltd.