PVSEC Europe 2008: Germany Solidifies Leading Position in PV Energy

    BERLIN, Aug. 29 /CNW/ - Germany's recently approved "climate package" is
its latest step in securing the country's position as a leading investment
location in renewable energies. "The reforms maintain attractive feed-in
tariffs and strengthen the legal framework for energy-efficiency investments,
therefore adding to Germany's already inviting investment conditions in
photovoltaic (PV) energy," says David Wortmann, Director of the Renewable
Energies and Resources team at Invest in Germany. Invest in Germany will be
outlining the country's investment advantages at the 23rd European
Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (PVSEC), September 1 - 5,
2008 in Valencia, Spain.
    One of the main drivers of PV investment in Germany is the Renewable
Energy Sources Act (EEG in German). The EEG requires power companies to buy
renewable energy from owners of renewable energy installations at a rate that
is above the standard retail price.
    The "feed-in-tariff" for PV projects beginning in 2008 stands at 35.49 -
51.75 EUR cents/KWh. The rate is guaranteed for 20 years. There is also no
limit to the energy that can be sold into the grid at the EEG rates. This
legal framework encourages Germans to invest in PV products, creating a
long-term and sustainable domestic market.
    Germany is turning its renowned scientific expertise into an asset for
the solar industry. Indeed there are over 80 different academic degree options
in solar energy and energy management at German universities, including a new
Masters Degree program at Berlin's Technical University (TU). An "energy
university" will soon open in Berlin to offer graduate-level students from all
over the world the chance to improve their knowledge of the energy industry.
This qualified workforce contributes to Germany's high standard of quality in
its PV products and also to its comparatively low product failure rate.
    This expertise is found not only in universities, but also in the many
research institutions in Germany that cooperate closely with PV investors. For
example, the Fraunhofer ISE is part of the internationally renowned Fraunhofer
Society that is one of numerous research institutes and universities doing
research on the latest technologies in PV, often in cooperation with the solar
    "It is the quality of German employees, the tight networking of
manufacturers, suppliers, and research institutions, and the supportive legal
framework that make Germany the world's premiere location for PV investment,"
notes Dr. Eicke Weber. The former professor at the University of California,
Berkeley heads the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in
Freiburg, Germany.
    Supportive laws, qualified employees, and access to researchers and
suppliers are some of the reasons that leading PV companies such as First
Solar, Arise Technologies, Signet Solar, and recent entries like Intico Solar
and Masdar PV GmbH have invested 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: Invest in Germany GmbH, Headquarters, T:
+49-30-200-099-0, F: +49-30-200-099-111, office@invest-in-germany.com,
http://www.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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