Germany is the world's number one market for solar energy. It accounts for 55% of global solar electricity production. The country's solar industry has 2,500 MWp of cumulative installed PV power and sales that tallied EUR3.8 bn last year. This sales' number is expected even to rise by 20% in the coming year. The International Photovoltaic Technology Show 2007 will present the strengths and perspectives of Germany's solar energy market on April 4th and 5th in Munich.
Prospects for growth look good in Germany's solar energy market not only because of the German government's long-standing commitment to renewable energies, but also as a result of the European Union's recent political engagement to increase the share of renewable energies in use within the EU. By the year 2020 carbon emissions shall be cut by 20 percent and the share of renewable energies in the EU's energy supply shall be increased by 20 percent.
In 2000, the German government passed the Renewable Energies Act (Erneuerbare Energie Gesetz, EEG). This law has significantly helped the photovoltaics branch (PV) in Germany. It requires that electricity grid operators pay a higher price to providers of solar energy than they do to providers of traditional energy. The EEG encourages the production of solar energy in Germany, and has been the model for legislation in other countries designed to stimulate the production of solar energy.
Germany has positioned itself as an excellent location for solar energy investments due to the strong governmental support, the availability of highly-qualified workforce, and the plentiful supply of scientific research centers and universities, such as Fraunhofer and Max-Planck-Institutes. These factors as well as incentives that often accompany investments in eastern Germany guarantee the rapid and smooth implementation of PV-projects. It is also foreign companies that are particularly contributing to the industry's growth. For example, the American company First Solar is opening a facility in Frankfurt/Oder soon. Investments from both domestic and international companies show that in Germany, environmentally conscious investments are not only ecologically friendly, but they also help support the economy sustainably.