Intersolar North America 2008: Germany Strengthening PV Investment Conditions



    BERLIN, July 14 /CNW/ - Germany's investment framework, research
landscape, and talented workforce are pushing the country's photovoltaics (PV)
sector toward grid parity, the point at which PV generation will cost the same
for the consumer as electricity from the grid. An overview of these and other
investment advantages in Germany will be featured at Intersolar North America
2008, July 15-17 in San Francisco, California.
    Today Germany is the world's largest solar energy market. Its 3.8 GWp
(Gigawatts peak) of installed PV capacity consists of nearly half of the
global solar energy market. This strong capacity is making PV a lucrative
enterprise for many companies. 2007 revenue in the PV industry hit EUR
5.7 billion. High oil prices and Germany's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions
mean that there is still plenty of growth in the future for solar energy. The
market is expected to grow approximately 25% in coming years, and Germany's PV
capacity might exceed 6 GWp by 2010.

    Research Landscape and Investment Framework Drive Industry

    The country has a talented workforce with many years of experience in
solar energy and solar energy products. This understanding of the PV industry
stretches beyond engineers and scientists to regulatory authorities, who are
supportive of PV investments and process applications for new construction
products in a timely fashion.
    Germany's technical experts and research institutes are on the cutting
edge in PV technology. For example, the Helmholz Centre in Berlin (formerly
the Hahn-Meitner Institute HMI) is engaging in advanced research on thin-film
crystalline silicon solar cells.
    A positive investment framework is one of the main reasons that Germany
has become the home to many renewable energies companies. Its Renewable
Energies Sources Act (EEG in German) 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 remains the same for 20 years, thus
making it profitable for homeowners, businesses, and other institutions to own
solar panels and add to the share of renewable energies in Germany's power
grid.

    Reformed EEG: Securing Germany's Advantages

    The EEG calls for the "feed-in tariff" to fall every year, to encourage
the industry to find efficiencies and cost reductions. The reformed EEG,
recently approved by both houses of Germany's legislature, has set the annual
reduction at between eight and ten percent in 2009 and 2010 and nine percent
annually for 2011 and onwards.
    "The new EEG keeps the basic investment framework in place that has
allowed Germany to become a thriving PV investment location for many PV
companies, including American market leaders such as First Solar," noted
Nikolai Dobrott, head of the Renewable Energies team at Invest in Germany.
"The accelerated degression rate will only intensify the already fierce
competition to achieve grid parity, a goal that aims to bring PV fully into
the mainstream and precipitate higher returns for PV investors," added
Dobrott.

    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. Invest in
Germany can be found in the German Pavilion at stand 9800B.





For further information:

For further information: Invest in Germany GmbH, Headquarters, T:
+49-30-200-099-0, F: +49-30-200-099-111, office@invest-in-germany.com; Media
Contact: Eva Henkel, T:+49-30-200-099-173, F:+49-30-200-099-111,
henkel@invest-in-germany.com

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