Power Gen 2008 showcases investment advantages of German renewable energies industry

February 21, 2008

Solar Daily: Germany is a leading country for renewable energy investments. Companies from across the world are finding that Europe’s largest economy matches their needs for workforce, infrastructure, political support, and standards of quality. The advantages of Germany as a location for investment will be presented at Power Gen 2008 in Las Vegas.

Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG in German) is a major benefit to producers of renewable energies equipment. According to the law, owners of renewable energies systems receive “feed-in tariffs,” sometimes twice the retail market price, when energy from their systems is sold to utility companies. The law guarantees this price for twenty years, and is enticing homeowners, businesses, and non-profit organizations to invest in renewable energies equipment.

Germany is also optimizing its legal regime to provide a framework for the country to meet its goals regarding renewable energies by 2020. It wants to be the number one country worldwide in renewable energies, a worldwide market share of over 20%, domestic investments of at least EUR200 billion, and exports of over EUR80 billion. The solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and energy efficiency sectors will benefit from this strategy.

There is more to Germany’s success story than simply smart policies. Germany has a network of scientific institutes and universities that works closely with industry to develop the latest technologies in renewable energies. The German government is also committing EUR15 billion through 2009 for research and development projects.

Germany’s favorable legal regime and its workforce are two reasons that its renewable energies industry brought in nearly EUR23 billion in revenues in 2006, earned an estimated EUR6 billion in exports, as well as EUR9 billion in domestic investments.

The country’s stellar infrastructure and geographic proximity in the middle of Europe make Germany an attractive location for renewable energies. Therefore a number of North American industry leaders, such as General Electric, First Solar, Nanosolar, and Arise have locations in Germany.

German flag, Wikimedia Commons


Centrotherm to establish new thin-film R&D centre in Blaubeuren

January 31, 2008

The momentum for thin film solar technologies has been accelerating lately. From PVTech: Thin-film technology development is the focus for centrotherm photovoltaics AG, as the company has today announced the construction of a Research & Development Centre in Blaubeuren, Germany. Completion of the facility, which is to include a thin-film laboratory equipped with the latest analysis tools and pilot fabrication for CIGS lines, is expected in 2H08.

With plans to employ approximately 20 staff members, the facility will be headed up by Dr. Immo Kötschau, who takes up the role of Director of Research and Development. This development follows on from the company’s announced intention at the time of its IPO in October last year that it would use the proceeds to invest in research and development projects.

“Our objective is to enhance our technological expertise and further increase the efficiency of our production lines,” said Robert Hartung, CEO of centrotherm photovoltaics AG. “We are aiming for a guaranteed rate of 10 percent in the production process.”