Intersolar 2008: Reformed Legal Framework Proves Germany's Commitment to Solar



    BERLIN, June 12 /CNW/ - Intersolar 2008 is beginning with encouraging
news for solar investors. Germany's favorable legal framework, that has made
the industry successful, is secure. Shortly before the world's largest trade
fair for solar technology, running from June 12-14th in Munich, Germany, the
country's parliament reaffirmed its commitment to solar energy by passing a
reformed Renewable Energy Sources Act (known as the EEG).
    Germany has quickly become the world's leading solar market. The numbers
tell the story: Its 3.8 GWp (Gigawatt peak) of installed photovoltaic (PV)
capacity makes up nearly one half of the global solar energy market. This
capacity is contributing to significant revenues for PV companies located in
Germany. In 2007 PV industry revenue hit EUR5.5 billion. Experts say that the
market is far from exhausted. Rather, further market growth of 15-25% is
expected.
    The industry's success in Germany is thanks to many factors: The
country's large pool of skilled workers means that products can quickly go
from the drawing board to reality. Product failure rates are also very low. A
dense research network allows ideas to be worked through and implemented into
new products quickly and efficiently. Public authorities in Germany are also
supportive of PV and process building applications in a timely fashion.
    The EEG is, however, one of Germany's major advantages. It mandates that
owners of PV equipment, such as solar systems, be paid a "feed-in tariff" for
solar energy that is sold into the public grid. The tariff, that is good for
20 years, makes it profitable for homeowners, businesses, and other
institutions to own solar systems. This, in turn, creates a domestic market,
making Germany an attractive location both to produce and sell PV modules and
components.
    Under the original legislation, the tariff fell by five percent every
year, in order to encourage cost reductions and efficiencies. The solar
industry is working toward "grid parity," the point at which electricity from
solar energy costs the same as that from conventional sources.
    The parliament has now agreed to set the annual tariff reduction at
between eight and ten percent in 2009 and 2010 and then nine percent annually
following 2011. Solar industry representatives announced satisfaction at the
decision.
    "This vote keeps Germany a top location for PV investment, while giving
further impulse to the race for grid parity," noted Nikolai Dobrott, Senior
Advisor and head of the Renewable Energies team at Invest in Germany.

    Invest in Germany is the inward investment promotion agency of the
Federal Republic of Germany. It provides investors with comprehensive support
from site selection to the implementation of investment decisions.





For further information:

For further information: Eva Henkel, T +4930200099-173, F
+4930200099-111, henkel@invest-in-germany.com

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