Germany's solar photovoltaic (PV) industry now employs more workers than steel production in the USA. With over 100,000 "green jobs" in PV alone, around 75 percent of European solar cells and modules as well as countless components are made in Germany. Record-breaking domestic demand is a key industry driver, with 7.4 GWp of PV capacity installed in 2010.
Germany is also a manufacturing platform for other European PV markets: Italy's feed-in tariff revisions take effect this month and include a Made in Europe clause, which is set to benefit manufacturers based in Germany. Germany Trade and Invest will have representatives on hand at the 2011 Intersolar Europe in Munich from June 8 - 10 to share the latest market and industry trends in Germany.
"Germany continues to confirm its leadership role in renewable energies as the solar photovoltaic market will soon enter the grid parity era. Political support for solar power is unwavering and industry players are already preparing for innovative new business models. Now is an excellent time to invest in Germany," said Thomas Grigoleit, renewable energies expert at Germany Trade and Invest in Berlin.
Germany represents the top solar industry cluster worldwide, with strong representation covering the entire value chain. Nearly half of all inverters produced worldwide are made in Germany and the country is an indispensable supplier of high quality system components like mounting systems and module components like solar glass.
As the cost of generating solar energy continues to decrease, Germany's industry is set to benefit. Demand is expected to remain high as the domestic market shifts.
With a self-sustaining grid parity market on the horizon, opportunities for investment will arise in fields like energy storage, energy management technologies such as smart homes and grids, as well as new business models for energy consumption, contracting and financing. Manufacturers and suppliers as well as project planners and service providers are drawn to the German market to gain crucial first-mover experience.