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Posted: August 21, 2008
Masdar Breaks Ground on Photovoltaic Factory in Germany
(Nanowerk News) Less than
three months after announcing a strategic investment into thin-film
photovoltaics, Masdar, the Abu Dhabi renewable energy company, yesterday
broke ground on its first photovoltaic production plant in Ichtershausen,
The plant will use advanced production technologies to bring PV closer
towards grid parity, and enhance a local economy with a rich history of
manufacturing and technology.
The $230 million (EUR 150 million) German plant marks the first phase
of Masdar's $2 billion (EUR 1.3 billion) investment in thin-film PV
manufacturing, one of the largest investments ever made in solar. To be
opened in Q3 2009, the plant has a targeted annual production capacity of
70MW, and will create more than 180 green jobs.
It will produce the world's largest (5.7 m2) and most powerful PV
modules, on equipment from the world's leading supplier Applied Materials,
to drive the cost reductions necessary to make solar energy an affordable
As a leading global centre for PV technology, Germany was selected as
Masdar's first PV plant location. The German plant will act as a blueprint
for technology and knowledge transfer to a 140MW Abu Dhabi plant, which
will begin initial production by Q3 2010. Output from both facilities has
already been committed to major PV system installers in Europe, and for
Masdar's own energy generation needs.
"Thuringia is a modern business location", says Dieter Althaus, Prime
Minister of State of Thuringia. "Within Germany we hold a leading position
in modern environmental technologies especially in trendsetting solar
energy. We are pleased that Abu Dhabi chose Germany and particularly
Thuringia as a model for technology and knowledge transfer. Germany's
technology base combines well with Masdar's vision to accelerate the
development and adoption of clean energy solutions on a global basis."
Masdar PV represents a significant advancement of German-UAE trade
relations, particularly as it addresses a new area of cooperation in
providing clean and sustainable energy solutions for both countries. The
United Arab Emirates is one of Germany's major trading partners in the Gulf
region with non-oil trade, currently worth nearly US$7 billion.
In addition, it furthers Masdar's existing investment and research ties
with German companies and organizations, including Siemens, RWTH Aachen
University and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).
"Abu Dhabi's geography and our vision to become a world leader in
renewable energy, makes thin-film PV a natural area of focus for Masdar,"
said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. "Germany, with its technology,
highly-skilled workforce, attractive investment climate, and direct access
to the European market, make it an ideal partner for Masdar."
"It is especially satisfying to be working together in bringing the
world one step closer to a future of clean energy," Al Jaber added.
Present at the groundbreaking were Dieter Althaus, Prime Minister
Thuringia; His Excellency Mohammed Ahmed Al Mahmoud, UAE Ambassador to
Germany; Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar; Dr. Hermann Scheer, Member of
the German Parliament; Klaus von der Krone, Mayor Ichtershausen; and
representatives from the Masdar PV Management team.
The Masdar Initiative is Abu Dhabi's multi-faceted, multi-billion
dollar investment in the development and commercialization of innovative
technologies in renewable, alternative and sustainable energies as well as
sustainable design. Masdar is driven by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company
(ADFEC), a wholly owned company of the government of Abu Dhabi through the
Mubadala Development Company. In January 2008, Abu Dhabi announced it will
invest $15 billion in Masdar, the largest single government investment of
its kind. For more information about the Masdar Initiative, please visit