Photon Expo: German Photovoltaic Industry Remains Optimistic 1

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3rd March 2009, 12:19pm - Views: 1024

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Photon Expo: German Photovoltaic Industry Remains Optimistic

MUNICH, March 3 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

    Germany's photovoltaic (PV) industry is emerging as a success

story despite the economically trying times. Start-ups and established solar

companies alike will be showcasing their successes at this year's

Photovoltaic Technology Show 2009 Europe in Munich, Germany from March 4 - 6.

Germany is an appropriate setting, as the country remains the global leader

in PV and has seen an increase in investments across the entire industry.

    The PV industry's positive signs for continued growth come

primarily as a result of research breakthroughs, increasing demand, continued

government investment in the sector, and comprehensive business incentives

for investors. Recent estimates put Germany's PV power output at 5.3

Gigawatt-peak (GWp) of cumulated power and 1,500 Megawatt-peak (MWp) of newly

installed PV power. The latest progress in this sector has been seen in the

field of research. Most notably, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy

Systems (ISE) in Freiburg, Germany has recently set a new energy retention

record. Reporting an efficiency of 41.1 percent, these solar cells open up

new possibilities for the entire industry. At this rate, significantly more

sunlight can be converted to energy compared to standard solar cells

currently on the market.

    While this important research hurdle has been cleared,

investment in R&D continues to promise further progress. The Fraunhofer

Gesellschaft has recently opened the "Center for Organic Materials and

Electronic Devices Dresden" (COMEDD) in order to develop economically viable

processes for organic semiconductor devices, such as organic solar cells and

light-emitting diodes. At the same time, the Fraunhofer ISE inaugurated its

new laboratory for silicon material research in Freiburg, the "Silicon

Materials Technology and Evaluation Center" (SIMTEC). This institute hopes to

improve silicon crystallization and wafer technology as well as crystallizing

silicon thin film technology.

    2009 and Beyond

    In other market segments, a large number of companies are

investing in Germany's PV industry. Examples of recent announcements include

TUV Rheinland Group, Alfasolar, Euroglas, Solibro, Wacker, and Ersol (part of

Bosch Group). This year alone, a number of developments in the industry will

occur: Alfasolar plans to open a highly automated production center for

crystallized silicon solar modules this spring. In addition, Euroglas, one of

Europe's largest glass manufacturers, is investing in a solar glass

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manufacturing facility in Haldensleben, Saxony-Anhalt, which is expected to

initiate production in May 2009.

    Significant announcements have been made that will continue to

bolster the PV industry beyond 2009: Wacker has announced plans to construct

a new production plant for polysilicon in Nunchritz, Saxony - a total

investment of EUR 760 million. Slated to begin operations in 2011, this plant

will be supplemented by a further expansion of the Burghausen site as well.

Additionally, Ersol is expanding its manufacturing capacity for crystalline

solar cells and modules in Arnstadt, Thuringia. By 2012 the site hopes to

triple its production capacity and double its workforce through an infusion

of EUR 530 million.

    Germany Trade & Invest will be in attendance to help PV

companies interested in entering or expanding in the German market. The

organization will have industry experts present at this year's Photovoltaic

Technology Show in Munich in Hall C2 B 28 in order to showcase the

opportunities available to potential investors.

    Germany Trade and Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment

promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises

and supports foreign companies seeking to expand into the German market and

assists companies established in Germany looking to enter foreign markets.

All inquiries are treated confidentially.

    Media Contact:

    Eva Henkel

    Phone: +49-30-200099-173

    Fax:   +49-30-200099-111


    SOURCE: Germany Trade and Invest


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