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Posted: October 27, 2009
Germany continues to be a magnet for international photovoltaic companies
(Nanowerk News) Germany’s newly formed government will continue to provide broad support for renewable energy sources, according to the coalition agreement. This affirmation further strengthens Germany’s attractiveness as a location for solar companies. Germany Trade & Invest will be presenting the advantages of the world’s leading photovoltaic industry at this year’s Solar Power International 2009, taking place from October 27 - 29 in Anaheim, California.
Germany continues to be a magnet for international photovoltaic companies, as recent investments by California-based Nanosolar and Norwegian Vetro Solar confirm. The new coalition agreement cites solar energy’s importance as a future technology for Germany and thereby vows to make marketability and storage capacity for renewable energies a continued priority.
In September, Nanosolar opened a fully-automated thin film panel factory in Luckenwalde near Berlin. The plant will have an annual module producing capacity of 640 MW, or one panel every 10 seconds. It achieves a median efficiency rating of 11 percent and a maximum electricity conversion of 16.4 percent, setting a new efficiency record for this type of cell.
Vetro Solar is investing over EUR 23 million in a new glass production facility in Solar Valley in the Eastern German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. Set to commence production this coming spring, the two fully-automated production lines will provide customized glass solutions representing output of 2-3 GWp for both silicon wafer and thin-film solar companies. Solar Valley, the world’s largest PV cluster, provides optimal access to raw materials, suppliers, customers, and research institutes. No other location boasts such a high concentration of companies and institutes working in the photovoltaics industry.
These two companies add to the broad landscape of successful solar companies in Germany, home to the world’s largest photovoltaic industry. There are more than 500,000 solar electricity systems in Germany that have an output of 5.4 GWp of cumulated power, of which 1.65 GWp comes from systems installed in 2008. Germany’s market accounts for 37 percent of the entire global industry. The PV industry in Germany posted over EUR 9.5 billion in revenues in 2008 and expects 15-20 percent market growth until 2013.
Solar companies cite a number of factors when choosing Germany as an investment location. Germany allows companies to produce in close proximity to their clients, as it is home to the largest customer base and is well positioned to access large emerging solar markets in Europe. Strong government support in the form of initial investment incentives and feed-in tariffs along with opportunities to collaborate with world-class research institutes make Germany a clear choice for solar companies. The "Made in Germany" label, which stands for quality and efficiency, is further boosted by high productivity rates, coming in almost 25 percent above the OECD average.